Waymo introduced plans to construct a hub for its autonomous semi-trailer vehicles on a nine-acre web site close to Dallas-Fort Value, Texas. The Alphabet-owned firm additionally mentioned it’s partnering with rental truck firm Ryder on fleet administration because it appears to be like to develop the supply and logistics portion of its enterprise.

The hub in South Dallas will likely be Waymo’s “primary operations center” within the state for its fleet of autonomous vehicles. The hub will likely be constructed to accommodate “hundreds of trucks and personnel” as the corporate will get nearer to launching a full-scale freight-hauling operation utilizing its totally autonomous autos — although Waymo has but to say precisely when that will likely be.

Presently, Waymo is testing the fifth technology of its “Driver,” which is the time period used to explain its mixture of {hardware}, sensors, and AI software program, on its fleet of Class 8 vehicles. The corporate can be working with JB Hunt Transport Providers to haul freight alongside a number of interstates in Texas. And Waymo is continuous its work with Daimler, the dad or mum firm of Mercedes-Benz, on a completely autonomous, Degree 4 system for vehicles.

Whereas a lot of the general public’s focus has been on Waymo’s autonomous minivans that function in Arizona as a part of a restricted ride-hailing service, much less consideration has been paid to the corporate’s said plans to ultimately launch a business freight hauling enterprise. Waymo has a fleet of Peterbilt vehicles which were retrofitted with autonomous driving sensors and software program, and it’s at the moment testing them in Arizona, California, and Texas.

The vehicles function autonomously throughout checks and business deliveries however embody two Waymo staff, a commercially licensed driver, and a software program engineer, who sit within the cab and monitor the driving.

Waymo additionally mentioned it will be teaming up with Ryder, one of many nation’s largest rental truck operators, for assist with fleet administration companies. This can embody fleet upkeep, inspections, and roadside help — although each firms see alternatives for future companies. Waymo has comparable offers for its robotaxi fleet in Arizona and California with Avis and AutoNation.

Waymo has been engaged on autonomous vehicles since 2017 and plans to ultimately launch a full-scale freight hauling and supply service known as Waymo Through. A recent Bloomberg article detailed lots of the firm’s struggles to develop past the experimental section right into a commercially viable enterprise.

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