Waymo to start rolling out self-driving truck fleet in Atlanta

Waymo said that Atlanta is one of the largest USA logistics hubs, which is why it makes sense to test its autonomous trucks there with Google's cargo.

Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving company, announced a new pilot program that's located in Atlanta to further test its autonomous technology.

The trucks have already been tested in Arizona and California and Waymo says its software learned to drive "big rigs in much the same way a human driver would after years of driving passenger cars".

To accomplish this, Waymo will be teaming up with Google's logistics team to accelerate the development of their self-driving semi truck technology and "integrate it into the operations of shippers and carriers".

Uber's program is focused on developing self-driving trucks for highway-only portions of trips, using a hub and spoke system that would find human truckers picking up loads at weigh stations just off the highway and transporting the goods to their final destinations.

The bright blue trucks in Waymo's Atlanta pilot will still have back-up drivers in the cabs to monitor systems and take control if needed.

The announcement comes two days after rival Uber Technologies said its self-driving trucks will haul cargo on Arizona highways. "With Waymo in the driver's seat, we can reimagine many different types of transportation - from ride-hailing to logistics", explains the company in a blog post.

Waymo's autonomous trucks will have the same sensors and software that are on the minivans it's operating autonomously in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

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. So we may see self-driving trucks on the roads before cars without drivers.

Waymo's mission has always been to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around.

  • David Armstrong