Uber's rival is expanding. Fast.
What happens when autonomous driving technology is successfully installed in semi-trucks? We’ll have the answer within the next decade or so because more companies are researching and investing in this tech. BuzzFeed News has learned that, in addition to Uber and Tesla, Waymo is now venturing into self-driving trucks. "Self-driving technology can transport people and things much more safely than we do today and reduce the thousands of trucking-related deaths each year.
We’re taking our eight years of experience in building self-driving hardware and software and conducting a technical exploration into how our technology can integrate into a truck," stated a Waymo spokesperson. The race is now on between these companies (as well as others) as to who can not only build a self-driving semi-truck first, but can also successfully have it pass US government safety regulations. Our money is on Waymo, and here’s why: not only did we see its CEO, John Krafcik, impress the crowds at Detroit last January with a presentation showcasing the new and advanced hardware and software installed in the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica prototypes, but the company is simply ahead of its competition in all arenas.
A recent CNBC report claims that Ford, as just one example, is panicking because Waymo has conducted more autonomous car testing on real roads than anyone else. A lot more. Last year, 60 Waymo cars drove more than 635,000 miles on public roads in California. By comparison, a couple of Ford Fusion hybrids traveled only 590 miles. Now that Waymo has joined the self-driving truck race, it’s only a matter of time until we’re talking about job losses for truck drivers. It’s doubtful President Trump could do anything to help.