Daimler, Waymo join forces for autonomous trucks
Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., is a spin-off of Google: four years ago, it took over Google’s work to develop a driverless car. This gives it more than ten years of experience in developing what it calls “the world’s most experienced driver”: the Waymo system has driven over 20 million miles (around 32 million kilometres) on public roads in 25 cities in the USA and 15 billion miles (around 24 billion kilometres) in simulations. Daimler Trucks North America as the U.S. market leader in commercial vehicles and parent company of the Freightliner brand brings to the partnership its experience in developing state-of-the-art heavy-duty trucks.
The two companies plan to jointly develop highly automated trucks at SAE Level 4. In this, they aim to improve the productivity of fleet customers – it is said that human drivers are increasingly difficult to find. Besides, such vehicles would also improve road safety. The autonomous Freightliner Cascadia, equipped with the “Waymo Driver” platform, is to be available in the USA in the coming years. Waymo and Daimler Trucks also intend to consider expanding their activities into other markets and additional vehicle brands in the foreseeable future.
“In recent years, we have already made considerable progress on our way to developing highly automated trucks ready for series production,” commented Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG. “With our strategic partnership with Waymo as the leading company in autonomous driving, we are now taking another important step. The cooperation is part of Daimler Trucks’ dual strategy for autonomous driving: We are working with strong partners to offer our customers the best possible integrated autonomous Level 4 solutions”.