Waymo trials driverless trucks
Waymo, the autonomous-driving subsidiary of technology holding company Alphabet, is trialling driverless trucks in Atlanta, Georgia. It's moving cargo for its sister company Google. Waymo is not the first mobility player to enter the self-drive truck space.
Uber Freight, a trucking logistics platform launched by Uber, is building on the knowledge it gained when Uber acquired self-driving trucking startup Otto, just over a year ago. Uber Freight has been shipping cargo in Phoenix, Arizona since the start of this year – for now still working with commercial truck drivers and shippers.
Having raised just over $17 million, U.S. driverless trucking startup Embark is offering its services to commercial fleet management specialists Ryder for the shipping of Frigidaire refrigerators.
Waymo has one critical advantage over its competitors – a nine-year lead in the technological development of self-drive vehicles. This should make it an attractive partner for truck manufacturers and commercial shippers.
Autonomous trucking may hit the road much sooner than self-driving cars, since truck routes are mainly limited to motorways, which are much easier to navigate for self-driving vehicles than inner-city streets.