Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
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Waymo To Test Its Fleet Of Fully-Autonomous Semis In Atlanta

Waymo To Test Its Fleet Of Fully-Autonomous Semis In Atlanta

Waymo is starting out small with this pilot test, using these semi trucks to carry cargo destined for Google's data centers. This comes just days after archnemesis Uber detailed a similar program in Arizona. Waymo is among the leaders in autonomous technology and the company says they expect self-driving big rigs to take over long-distance trucking in the coming years, leaving short hauls and local deliveries to human drivers. As the company explains, the basic principles are the same but driving a semi is harder as the braking, turning radius and blind spots are completely different than on normal passenger cars.

Waymo began testing its autonomous trucks during trials in California and Arizona and is ready to expands those trials in high-profile way. To take on the pilot project in Atlanta, Waymo is using the same sensor suite that Google uses on its autonomous Pacifica minivan platform.

The self-driving vehicles head to transfer hubs close to their destinations, where the trailers are connected back onto human-steered rigs to complete their journeys.

Waymo has been testing its autonomous tractor-trailers on roads in California and Arizona since a year ago. "Trucking is a vital part of the American economy, and we believe self-driving technology has the potential to make this sector safer and even stronger".

Waymo, Google's self-driving auto company, is moving beyond driverless taxis. Waymo sees a future where consumers can summon a lift from its fleet of driverless cars, and it has been carrying out testing related to such a service.

She said self-driving technology could reduce accidents and improve mobility for the elderly, disabled and other restricted populations.

In September, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao released new guidelines that permit more testing of self-driving cars and address regulation between the federal government and states.

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