Daimler and Waymo are partnering on autonomous trucks.
There's no doubt that Mercedes makes some of the best cars in the world. The S-Class sedan is always at the forefront of the latest technology innovations, but sometimes, even the best needs help. Waymo is a company that is trying to make self-driving vehicles better and more easily available, and Daimler is set to take advantage of the company's expertise in this field. Daimler and Waymo announced this week that the two will join forces to bring autonomous semi trucks to market, combining the former company's Freightliner Cascadia semi truck with Waymo's automated driver technology. With two giants of their respective industries working together, the future of the sector looks bright.
Martin Daum, Daimler's Chairman of the Board, had this to say on the partnership: "In recent years, we have achieved significant progress on our global roadmap to bringing series-produced highly automated trucks to the road. With our strategic partnership with Waymo as the leader in autonomous driving, we are taking another important step towards that goal." Meanwhile, Waymo's CEO, John Krafcik says that his team looks forward to "scaling the Waymo Driver, together with our new partner, to improve road safety and logistics efficiency on the world's roadways." With Waymo having driven over 20 million autonomous miles on public roads thus far, the technology should be almost ready for public use.
Daimler and Waymo may have to work on public relations just as much as the technology itself, as Waymo doesn't have the greatest public image at the moment. In addition, drivers of semi trucks are obviously worried about job security becoming an issue. With hurdles like these causing autonomous vehicles to be held up just as much as legislation and a fully functioning system, Waymo needs Daimler's help just as much as Daimler needs Waymo's expertise. We don't know if this partnership will be enough to bring autonomy to logistics as early as manufacturers would like, but self-driving vehicles of all types will come eventually, whether we want them to or not.