The pilot is being done in partnership with Google, another Alphabet company and Waymo's former direct owner back when it was the Google self-driving vehicle project. On Friday, Waymo said it was starting to test self-driving trucks on highways and city streets around Atlanta. News emerged past year that Waymo was expanding its self-driving technology to trucks, but little was known about how far along that effort was. Our software is learning to drive big rigs in much the same way a human driver would after years of driving passenger cars. "So if you're in the Atlanta area, look for a bright blue Waymo truck making a run!"
Uber claims to have made the first commercial shipment ever by a self-driving truck when it hauled a trailer full of Budweiser beer over about 120 miles (193 kilometers) of highway in Colorado.
Waymo and Uber last month said they had settled a lawsuit over allegedly stolen trade secrets from the former Google self-driving vehicle project.
Google has had a data center presence in Georgia since 2003. The sensor array is the same one found on the Waymo minivan, and, thanks to its overseers, the self-driving technology is set to learn how to drive a fully-loaded truck and trailer, a skill that most humans do not have. Waymo says its autonomous vehicles have driven 5 million miles.
Enlarge Image That bright-blue rig is going to need Waymo space than one of Alphabet's self-driving minivans. Waymo
The company chose Atlanta as its testing platform because Google's logistical operations are located there.
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. "The transport of freight and cargo is a critical driver for the American economy".
Initially, Waymo will have a safety driver behind the wheel just like these other companies. With Waymo in the driver's seat, we can reimagine many different types of transportation - from ride-hailing to logistics.
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