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

Waymo is testing self-driving trucks in Atlanta

Waymo is testing self-driving trucks in Atlanta

Today, Waymo, which is Alphabet's self-driving company, announced a pilot program located in Atlanta to further test its autonomous technology.

A Waymo trial is hauling cargo between Google's Atlanta data centers.

The trucks have been undergoing road tests in California and Arizona and now are being launched in a pilot in Atlanta starting next week. It's doing this through the same way you'd each anyone with passenger auto driving experience on how to drive a semi truck. That would mean a truck that can drive itself all the way from one loading dock to another-no safety driver, transfer hub, or remote operator needed.

Waymo sees a future where consumers can summon a lift from its fleet of driverless cars, and it has been carrying out testing related to such a service. 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.

Just two days later, San Francisco-based startup Starsky Robotics announced it had raised $16.5 million of venture capital for its autonomous trucking technology and completed a 7-mile run without a human in the cab. Even though most of those miles were for passenger vehicles, the firm says almost a decade of experience gives it a head start in trucking.

Waymo's autonomous trucks will have the same sensors and software that are on the minivans it's operating autonomously in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

Though Waymo has been testing its self-driving semis for a year now, they're not quite ready for the big leagues yet.

The company chose Atlanta as its testing platform because Google's logistical operations are located there.

The advent of autonomous trucking has the potential to have an enormous impact on the US economy as trucks still carry much of the freight hauled across the nation. "With Waymo in the driver's seat, we can reimagine many different types of transportation - from ride-hailing to logistics", explains the company in a blog post.

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