Waymo already announced in January that it was expanding testing of its self-driving taxi service to the Atlanta area. A main focus of the testing has been teaching software to "learn" the differences between driving a semi truck and a regular vehicle.
To accomplish this, Waymo will be teaming up with Google's logistics team to accelerate the development of their self-driving semi truck technology and "integrate it into the operations of shippers and carriers". Although the basic principles of driving remain the same, driving a truck that's loaded down with cargo is trickier due to its size and different ways of handling. If you live in Atlanta and see one of Waymo's big blue trucks, then, you can rest assured that it isn't operating completely autonomously yet.
Since this technology is still in its infancy compared to some of Waymo's other projects, their autonomous semi trucks will have "highly-trained" drivers in the cab at all times, ready to take control of the vehicle in the event of an emergency or an AI hiccup.
The self-driving vehicles head to transfer hubs close to their destinations, where the trailers are connected back onto human-steered rigs to complete their journeys.
Waymo filed the suit past year but after four days of testimony before a federal judge, Uber agreed to a financial settlement, a source said. The company says it's spent the past year testing its trucks in California and Arizona.
In September, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao released new guidelines that permit more testing of self-driving cars and address regulation between the federal government and states.
But the non-profit Consumer Watchdog warned that roads are being turned "into private laboratories for robot cars with no regard for our safety".
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