Friday, 25 May, 2018

Self-driving trucks will deliver to Google data centers in Atlanta

Waymo is testing self-driving trucks in Atlanta Waymo moves beyond driverless taxis with trucking program
Lindsey Cook | 10 March, 2018, 01:48

In January, Waymo announced it would be bringing a fleet of self-driving minivans to Atlanta, its 24th market to test those vehicles. "The principles are the same, but things like braking, turning, and blind spots are different with a fully-loaded truck and trailer". It's doing this through the same way you'd each anyone with passenger vehicle driving experience on how to drive a semi truck.

A Waymo spokeswoman declined to say how many trucks will be tested.

The firm said that the software used to drive the big trucks is the same as that which drives the company's cars; the lorries also use the same suite of sensors that power Waymo's self-driving minivan.

The trucks will have an experienced driver in the cabs to take the wheel if needed, the company said.

The work being done with Google's logistics team means that it can also plug into an existing system for allocating loads, connecting shippers, factories, distribution centres, ports and more to have them ready to slot into the existing freight shipping ecosystem when fully ready.

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Earlier this week, Uber revealed that it is testing a hybrid freight delivery system that mixes self-driving and driver-operated trucks created to reduce fatigue for truckers and long absences from home.

Now it will put the trucks into action delivering freight from Atlanta to data centers operated by its sister company, Google. Last week, Uber announced that its autonomous trucks have been operating in Arizona for a couple months now.

Trucking is a vital part of the American economy.

Autonomous-vehicle technology has been touted as having potential to save fuel, ease congestion, and make transportation safer.

Waymo hasn't provided much detail about its driverless truck tech, but there's reason to believe it may be more advanced than what its competitors have developed so far.

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