Waymo begins testing autonomous semi trucks

Above Waymo's now doing trucks

Waymo announced today that its self-driving trucks will deliver freight in Atlanta.

Look out, truckers. Waymo, the self-driving vehicle unit of Alphabet Inc., is taking its driverless truck tests to Atlanta, and this time they'll be carrying cargo.

'As our self-driving trucks hit the highways in the region, we will have highly-trained drivers in the cabs to monitor systems and take control if needed, ' Waymo said in a blog post.

Waymo began testing its autonomous trucks during trials in California and Arizona and is ready to expands those trials in high-profile way. The trucks will leverage the same suite of self-driving hardware and software that the company has been developing its fleet of autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans.

From there, Waymo will ship cargo to Google's data centers.

Autonomous vehicles offer a multi-billion-dollar opportunity to remake urban transportation systems, and companies ranging from Tesla and Apple to traditional auto makers such as Ford and General Motors are vying to dominate the market. Waymo also has a willing and huge test partner in Google.

Above Waymo truck
Above Waymo truck

Waymo's trucks will have plenty of competition.

Waymo hasn't provided much detail about its driverless truck tech, but there's reason to believe it may be more advanced than what its competitors have developed so far.

The trucks will conform to federal driving regulations.

Still, Waymo said it's been able to make rapid progress because its trucking tech shares numerous same components developed for its self-driving minivan, including sensors and software.

The advent of autonomous trucking has the potential to have an enormous impact on the USA economy as trucks still carry much of the freight hauled across the nation.

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

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