Waymo might be shifting freight for a significant buyer of transportation logistics firm J.B. Hunt Transport Providers underneath what the 2 corporations are calling a “take a look at run” that may happen in one of many nation’s busiest commerce corridors.
Waymo Through, the corporate’s trucking and cargo transportation service, will transport items alongside Interstate 45 between Houston and Fort Price, Texas. The vehicles might be powered by the Waymo Driver autonomous platform, although a Waymo “autonomous specialists,” a commercially-licensed truck driver and a software program technician might be using in every truck to watch the operations.
This isn’t the primary time J.B. Hunt and Waymo, an Alphabet subsidiary, have labored collectively. It appears the businesses have been making ready for a trial deployment of autonomous vehicles for a while.
“We’ve additionally labored intently with J.B. Hunt for a while now on operational and market research and can proceed to take action as we roll out autonomous driving expertise,” Waymo stated in a weblog publish. “We’ve explored subjects equivalent to finest practices for normal upkeep, what future facility layouts will appear like, and which lanes are finest fitted to autonomous driving expertise, to assist guarantee long-term preparedness on each side.”
Waymo declined to share with TechCrunch the precise variety of vehicles that might be used for the take a look at run, however a spokesperson stated that will probably be a restricted length pilot “with the aim of collectively creating a long run plan for the way our corporations can work collectively.”
Waymo Driver is a Degree four platform, that means that it may theoretically function and not using a human security driver behind the wheel, however solely underneath sure situations (like clear climate).
The autonomous driving firm has additionally partnered with Daimler Vehicles to equip Daimler freightliners with the Waymo Driver. That’s along with partnerships with Volvo to develop electrical robotaxis, and Fiat Chrysler Vehicles for autonomous cargo vans.