Waymo will begin self-driving semi truck pilot in Atlanta next week


A safety driver in the truck will take over if anything goes wrong.

"Atlanta is one of the biggest logistics hubs in the country, making it a natural home for Google's logistical operations and the flawless environment for our next phase of testing Waymo's self-driving trucks", the Waymo team wrote in a Friday blog post. Now the trucks are going to haul loads to Google's data centers in the state of Georgia.

Waymo said it has been testing self-driving trucks in California and Arizona for the past year. Now, Waymo is teaching the software to manage the increased challenge of a truck. On Tuesday, rival Uber said its self-driving trucks would begin transporting freight across Arizona.

Meanwhile, a startup called Starsky Robotics announced an initial test this week of its technology for remotely driven trucks.

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These variants are most prevalent in those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, and have been observed at much lower rates in other ethnicities.

Waymo is poised to change how we get a ride and now the company is focusing on how we get various goods. The latest announcement suggests the company has a years-long lead over several other players working on autonomous highway logistics.

However, it isn't just minivans that have gotten the Waymo treatment. While numerous basic principles of a self-driving semi-truck are similar with passenger vehicles like the Lexus RX 450h and Chrysler Pacifica vehicles that Waymo typically uses, considerations have to be made for "braking, turning, and blind spots" with the fully-loaded weight of such a vehicle, and its enormous size.

Urban Transportation system is wide open There's a multi-billion dollar opportunity waiting for autonomous vehicles on America's roads today, and a number of companies are vying for a share of the market, ranging from Tesla and Apple, Inc.to traditional auto makers like Ford and General Motors. "Trucking is a vital part of the American economy, and we believe self-driving technology has the potential to make this sector safer and even stronger". The company still has work to do, but starting with the industry-leading software in its minivans gives Waymo a significant head start.