tiptrot.com March 21, 2018

Waymo begins testing autonomous semi trucks

10 March 2018, 12:59 | Cedric Leonard

Waymo is testing self-driving trucks in Atlanta

Waymo’s self-driving tech spreads to semi trucks

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, a company that develops self-driving vehicles, has announced its self driving trucks will soon be on the road in 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.

Waymo's goal is to eventually integrate this technology into their shipping operations across their network of factories, distribution centers, ports and terminals.

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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