Waymo, The Autonomous Vehicle Company of Alphabet, brings his self-propelled trucks back to Arizona.
The company's autonomous Chrysler Pacifica hybrid cars used in its Waymo One riding stall service are a common sight on public streets in Chandler and other suburbs in Phoenix . But its self-propelled class 8 large rig wagons have not been in Arizona for more than a year.
Waymo integrated its self-propelled system into Class 8 trucks and began testing them in Arizona in August 201
These early Arizona tests were aimed at collecting the first information on driving trucks in the region, according to Waymo. This new test round is at a more advanced stage in the programme's development.
Testing will be carried out on highways around the metro Phoenix area and will be extended over time, according to Waymo. The company would not share details of how many autonomous trucks it has in its overall fleet, where many will be in Arizona, or when it will expand its testing area outside of the Phoenix subway.
The company said it will be tested with both empty trucks and with freight. The freight will, however, only be for testing and not part of a commercial company.
The self-propelled trucks have two trained safety drivers who can take over as needed.
Waymo has tested its self-propelled trucks in a handful of locations in the United States, including Arizona, the San Francisco area, and Atlanta. In 2018, the company announced that they would use their self-propelled trucks to deliver freight to Google's data centers in Atlanta.
Waymo self-propelled trucks share Arizona highways with at least one other company – TuSimple, which runs an autonomous route (with safety drivers) between Tucson and Phoenix along Interstate 10.
Self-propelled trucks are part of Waymo's broader business strategy, which also includes launching ridesharing service and even even licensing autonomous technology for vehicle manufacturers.