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Beginning this week, Waymo — formerly known as Google’s self-driving car project — will roll out a pilot program in Atlanta where the company’s technology will power Peterbilt Class 8 trucks to carry cargo bound for Google’s data centers, the company announced Friday.
The company’s engineers have been testing self-driving trucks in California and Arizona, the same state where a fleet of 600 autonomous Waymo taxis has been on the roads without a human driver since November, the company said in a blog post.
“Our software is learning to drive big rigs in much the same way a human driver would after years of driving passenger cars,” Waymo said in the post. “The principles are the same, but things like braking, turning, and blind spots are different with a fully-loaded truck and trailer.”
The company said its self-driving trucks rely on the same sensors as its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans. Unlike the minivans, Waymo said its trucks will have highly trained drivers in the cabs to monitor systems and take control if needed.
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