Waymo is launching their self-driving semi truck pilot test next week

Waymo is testing self-driving trucks in Atlanta

Waymo, the autonomous vehicle division of Google's parent company, Alphabet, announced today that its self-driving trucks will be tested on Atlanta highways. Now Waymo has confirmed that it is about to kickstart a pilot in Atlanta for self-driving trucks that will be used to cart goods destined for Google's datacenters. Uber announced this week that its own self-driving trucks starting hauling freight across Arizona in a test program.

These autonomous big rigs have been testing in both California and Arizona over the course of the past year, Waymo says, and now they're ready to roll in Georgia, too. Just like a regular driver who is moving from passenger cars to semi trucks for the first time, Waymo's AI has been learning the differences in driving a semi truck over the past year.

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

Although Waymo is testing self-driving technology on the trucks, there will be a driver behind the wheel.

The announcement comes two days after rival Uber Technologies said its self-driving trucks will haul cargo on Arizona highways. "The principles are the same, but things like braking, turning, and blind spots are different with a fully-loaded truck and trailer".

The bright blue trucks in Waymo's Atlanta pilot will still have back-up drivers in the cabs to monitor systems and take control if needed. Starsky envisions trucks driving autonomously on the freeway, but having a human driver driving the truck remotely at the beginning and end of the trip.

Self-driving trucks could be quite interesting, since trucking is a very vital part of our economy.

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