Waymo's self-driving trucks are carrying cargo for ... Google

Uber General Motors' Cruise Waymo and Zoox have all tested autonomous vehicles in San Francisco—and now the mayor has some

Beginning next week, Waymo's self-driving trucks will begin hauling cargo to Google's data centers.

Waymo's autonomous trucking program is coming along - though we haven't heard much about it since discovering it was a real thing a year ago, Waymo today announced that it's launching a pilot program in Atlanta to focus specifically on self-driving trucks and automated logistics.

The company has already been quietly testing self-driving trucks in California and Arizona, adapting the software to deal with the unique characteristics of operating a big rig.

Notably, the trucks - which like Waymo's feature a safety driver in the driver's seat to monitor the action - will be navigating not only highway portions of the ride but also will tackle the more complex task of threading a giant tractor trailer through city streets. So we may see self-driving trucks on the roads before cars without drivers.

Uber has been using its self-driving trucks to transport goods in Arizona. Literally, in this case - from self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans to autonomous Class 8 semi-trucks.

If you have any concerns about a fully-loaded, 80,000-pound truck hurtling down the highway at [crazy] Atlanta driving speeds while controlled by computers, there will be a failsafe.

Now that Waymo is free of its long-running legal battle with Uber, it is focusing its attention on more important endeavors; namely spreading its self-driving technology to more platforms. During the pilot, a trained human driver will sit behind the wheel, ready to take over, if necessary.

Self-driving trucks could be quite interesting, since trucking is a very vital part of our economy. According to the American Trucking Associations, trucking revenues were $676.2 billion in 2016, while trucks moved more than 10.4 billion tons of freight.


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