According to a new report from BuzzFeed News, Alphabet’s Waymo self-driving car company is exploring self-driving trucking. The report explains that the efforts are currently in their early stages, though the company has confirmed that it is testing self-driving trucks…
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In a statement, Waymo explained that it is taking its 8 years of experience in self-driving technology and conducting a “technical exploration” as to how truck self-driving trucks would work.
“Self-driving technology can transport people and things much more safely than we do today and reduce the thousands of trucking-related deaths each year. We’re taking our eight years of experience in building self-driving hardware and software and conducting a technical exploration into how our technology can integrate into a truck,” a Waymo spokesperson told BuzzFeed.
The report explains that Waymo is currently manually driving just one semi truck on public roads for data collection purposes. At this point, the efforts extend to just one truck and are at very early stages. It’s unclear what the testing could eventually turn into as of right now.
Uber, with whom Google is currently engaged in an explosive legal battle, is also testing autonomous trucking. The company last year acquired self-driving truck startup Otto, which was actually founded by a former Google employe and the centerpiece of Waymo’s lawsuit with Google.
We’re most likely many years away from seeing Waymo’s self-driving trucking technology, but nevertheless it’s notable that the company is working on such technology.