Today during a briefing with members of the media, Waymo head of commercialization for autonomous trucks Charlie Jatt outlined the company’s go-to-market plans for Waymo Via, its self-driving delivery division. In the future, Waymo will partner with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to equip cloud-based trucks manufactured and sold to the market with its autonomous systems. In addition, Waymo will work with fleets to provide its software services and offer support for things like mapping and remote fleet assistance.
From an article in Venture Beat by Kyle L. Wiggers.
As Waymo transitions to this model, Jatt said that Waymo intends to own and offer its own fleet of trucks — at least in the short term. One of the delivery solutions it’s exploring is a transfer-hub model where, rather than an automated truck covering an entire journey, there will be a mix of an automated portion and a portion involving manually driven, human-manned trucks. Automated vehicle transfer hubs close to highways would handle the switch-off and minimize surface street driving.
In a first step toward this vision, Waymo says it will soon expand testing on roads in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas along the I-10 corridor between Phoenix and Tuscon, as previously announced. This year Waymo mapped routes between Phoenix, El Paso, Dallas, and Houston and ramped up testing in California on freeways in Mountain View, but the focus for the rest of 2020 will be on the American Southwest.
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