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10 March 2018, 12:59 | Cedric Leonard
Waymo is testing self-driving trucks in Atlanta
The city is also home to Google's logistical operations and Waymo says this makes Atlanta the "perfect environment" for testing. Starting next week, Waymo's self-driving trucks will travel through metro Atlanta, delivering cargo to Google's data center in Douglas County, Georgia.
Waymo said: 'The principles are the same, but things like braking, turning and blind spots are different with a fully-loaded truck and trailer. A safety driver in the truck will take over if anything goes wrong. Even though most of those miles were for passenger vehicles, the firm says almost a decade of experience gives it a head start in trucking.
Moving onto trucks is possible because of the experience that the engineers and AI experts has gained in Waymo's autonomous passenger vehicles (five million road/five billion simulation miles traveled, apparently). 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 huge size. So we may see self-driving trucks on the roads before cars without drivers.
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