Waymo ups ante on rival Uber in self-driving truck game

Waymo driverless trucks will go to work in the Atlanta area as part of a pilot program intended to help integrate autonomous big rigs with the operations of shippers ports terminals factories and distribution centers according to the company

Waymo is testing self-driving trucks in Atlanta

The pilot is being done in partnership with Google, another Alphabet company and Waymo's former direct owner back when it was the Google self-driving vehicle project. 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.

Waymo has been road testing its self-driving trucks in California and Arizona over the past year, since announcing them in July 2017.

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.

"Our software is learning to drive big rigs in much the same way a human driver would after years of driving passenger cars", the post said.

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The self-driving sensors in the trucks is the same as in the Waymo autonomous minivans.

Today's announcement comes a couple of weeks after Waymo announced its self-driving cars had covered 5 million miles on public roads.

Waymo, however, is limiting the self-driving trucks to local routes rather than the type of long hauls where the driving limits are most likely to come into play for the human in the cab supervising the robotic controls.

The firm chose Atlanta because it's one of the biggest logistics hubs in the USA, and Google's logistical operations also take place from there.

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However, it isn't just minivans that have gotten the Waymo treatment.

Waymo's mission has always been to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around.

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.

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