Back in June, Alphabet’s self-driving unit worked with JB Hunt, a trucking and logistics company, to test its Waymo Via technology in Texas. On Friday, the two announced that they were form a strategic partnership with the hope of rolling out a fully autonomous trucking operation in the state within the next few years. In the immediate term, Waymo and JB Hunt say they plan to hold several pilots involving Waymo Via. This is the Waymo Driver powered unit that Alphabet’s subsidiary has developed for Class 8 trucks. They also plan to do additional market research.
The expanded partnership follows a in which Waymo and JB Hunt said they moved 862,179 pounds of cargo without their test trucks accelerating or getting into crashes. The conclusion they made at the time was that Waymo Driver was ready to deliver the cargo on time and safely. Waymo is just one of the few companies working on autonomous trucking technology. Months before the company completes its June pilot project with JB Hunt, Aurora, the startup that acquired Uber’s, announced it was working with Volvo to build fully autonomous tractor-trailers that would haul goods across North America.
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