Google’s autonomous car company is now testing out self-driving trucks
By Brett Williams
Waymo is taking its self-driving tech to an entirely new class of vehicles.
The autonomous car company, which famously spun off as an independent entity after years of development as the Google X self-driving car project, was recently spotted running tests on something other than its instantly recognizable fleet of Waymo-branded Chrysler Pacifica minivans: a truck.
A photo recently obtained by BuzzFeed News appears to show a Waymo truck, which company reps confirmed to be genuine. Until the image surfaced, Waymo was only thought to be developing its autonomous driving platform on its cars, Lexus SUVs, and minivans, which have been extensively promoted as it ramps up its efforts with a public self-driving program in Phoenix.
When reached for comment by Mashable via email, a Waymo rep shared the same statement given to BuzzFeed:
Waymo is currently testing just one truck, reportedly a Class 8 Peterbilt, outfitted with the company’s self-produced autonomous platform.
A company spokesperson confirmed to Mashable that the company is currently conducting tests on a private track at its facility in California, and that the truck has also made it out to public streets — with a human operator behind the wheel controlling it manually at all times — to collect the road data essential for the autonomous platform’s development.