UPS Adds Waymo's Autonomous Class 8 Trucks for Deliveries in Texas
【Summary】The two companies are expanding their partnership to include deliveries being made with the self-driving company’s Class 8 between Dallas and Houston.
Waymo and UPS have been working together to test autonomous delivery vans for a few years. While autonomous cars for regular consumers are in the spotlight for self-driving technology, there's been a large push for delivery vehicles that can drive themselves, even if it's for a small portion of the route. In an expansion to their partnership that's roughly two years old, UPS will be adding Waymo's autonomous Class 8 trucks to its delivery fleet in Texas.
Waymo, UPS Extend Partnership
Previously, UPS was only using Waymo's self-driving minivans for local deliveries. With the addition of Class 8 semi-trucks, UPS will be tackling long-distance deliveries in Texas. The two companies will be hauling cargo between facilities in Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. During the trips, Waymo and UPS will be gathering data and paying close attention to the efficiency and safety of the semi-trucks. Texas is the primary location for the tests, as Waymo has plans to build a nine-acre hub to test its autonomous semi-trucks in the state.
The test period will span six weeks and officially started last week. Waymo and UPS will test the autonomous Class 8 trucks until the end of the year. This will also help UPS deliver freight during the busy holiday season. Waymo didn't say how many trucks UPS will be usde for the pilot program, but stated that "multiple trucks" from its test fleet of Peterbilt semi-trucks have its latest fifth-gen Driver system.
New Trial Is A Win-Win
While the trucks are capable of handling a lot of driving tasks on the highway, the semi-trucks will have two autonomous specialists onboard to keep an eye on the vehicle. One will have a commercial driver's license, while the other will be a software technician. The trucks will operate in their autonomous mode on the highway and will switch back to being operated by a human driver for surface streets.
The new pilot program involving Waymo's Class 8 semis is a natural progression for the two companies. The first UPS pilot program that involved Waymo's driverless minivans "brought incredible learnings for us on things like hailing the vehicle, loading/unloading parcels and more," said a Waymo spokesperson. The program will definitely help Waymo in its goal to come out with a commercial freight hauling business that uses autonomous vehicles.
"These Class 8 trial runs will build on all of the learnings and success we've had testing with UPS over the years, as well as our previous Class 8 trial runs with other carriers across unique verticals, including J.B. Hunt," Waymo wrote in a blog post announcing the partnership.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
Ford Looks to Have 100% of EV Sales Be Online
Volkswagen CEO Believes It Will Overtake Tesla in EV Sales by 2025
Report Claims Nissan Leaf Will Be Discontinued by 2025
Autonomous Vehicles Will Require Cities to Change Their Transportation Methods
Rivian, Mercedes-Benz Partner to Produce Electric Commercial Vans
Tesla Believes Its Dojo AI System Will Help It Win the Self-Driving Car Race
Acura Prevision EV Concept Previews Brand’s Electric Future
Federal Tax Credit on EVs Still Applies to American-Made Vehicles
- High Gas Prices Aren’t Enough to Sway Consumers to EVs, Autolist Survey Finds
- New Premium Electric Vehicle Brand Zeekr Is Exploring IPO Options in the U.S. or Hong Kong, According to Sources
- Hyundai Motor Group Signs MoU with SK On Co. to Secure Batteries for EVs Built in the U.S.
- Volkswagen’s Software Unit CARIAD Selects Innoviz as its Direct Lidar Supplier for the Automaker's Future Software-Defined Vehicles
- Struggling Electric Vehicle Startup Faraday Future Signs Deal to Raise up to $350 Million in Financing to Help it Stay Afloat
- GM Expanding First Responder Training Program for EV Crashes
- Baidu CEO Believes That SAE Level-4 Autonomous Driving Systems Will the First to Enter Commercial Use After L2, Skipping Over L3
- Ford Looks to Have 100% of EV Sales Be Online
- The Affordable New Smart Brand Electric Crossover Designed by Mercedes-Benz Officially Launches in China
- Hyundai and Michelin to Develop Next-Gen Tires for EVs