Google’s autonomous driving company, Waymo, makes a shift from cars to trucks. Their newly developed software for self-driving trucks soon is going to start testing in Texas and New Mexico. That is a clear indication that the company is not only interested in self-driving robo-taxis but also want to make their contribution to long-hauls.
These tests are not Waymo’s first attempt at the autonomous driving experience. They have already clocked 20 million miles in testing. That, however, has flown under the radar. They are using standard American Semi-trucks loaded with equipment and software, taken from their Waymo self-driving car.
here you can find how it works and how Waymo utilizes it. They have re-shaped their program to fit the needs of big trucks and their chassis. Trucks supported by Chrysler Pacifica, which are standard in testing autonomous software in Waymo, for better understanding of truck’s movement and its choices.
They say they are going to focus their attention mostly on highways because most of the freight deliveries are made through there. The goal of this project is to make roads safer by allowing truck drivers to ease some of their fatigue and mistakes made. The demand for this kind of service is very high. Waymo predicts that they are going to reach 6700 units globally, which translates to 54 billion and saving the transport industry 70 billion annually. The company doesn’t explain if they want to eliminate human truck drivers altogether. We can assume that is the final plan, which is not that far away. Some speculations say we are only a decade away from the world that will be almost 50% driven by robots and AI. The future of automotive cargo and passenger hauling industry is unknown. It is both scary and thrilling at the same time.