Waymo's self-driving 18-wheelers hit the road in Georgia

By Ed Adamczyk  |  March 9, 2018 at 2:34 PM
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March 9 (UPI) -- Self-driving tractor-trailer trucks have begun delivering cargo in the Atlanta area, Waymo, Google Inc.'s vehicle subsidiary, announced Friday.

The autonomous 18-wheelers have a driver on board for safety purposes, but are operating on public roads in self-driving mode, using an array of cameras, custom-made sensors and software, Waymo said. The added equipment is identical to that in Waymo's self-driving minivans. The massive, Class 8 over-the-road trucks are being used to haul loads to Google's Georgia data centers.

Google has had a data center presence in Georgia since 2003. Waymo began testing the technology on the trucks in 2017 at California and Arizona research facilities. In January, Google brought its self-driving cars and minivans to Atlanta for testing and mapping.

The announcement comes days after rival Uber said its fleet of self-driving trucks was in use in Arizona. In Uber's case, the trucks drive autonomously down a highway, and humans take over for the last several miles of a delivery.

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