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Waymo has announced that the company is focusing its efforts and investments on its autonomous ride-hailing service and pushing back the timeline of its commercial and operational trucking efforts.
The company still plans to continue to collaborate with Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) to advance the technical development of an autonomous trucking platform. The company will follow through with the platform investments it has made to create a redundant chassis to facilitate autonomous trucking.
Additionally, Waymo still plans to bring together its autonomous technology with DTNA’s autonomous-ready Freightliner Cascadia platform and continue exploring the potential of future platforms.
The company didn’t provide any details about any of its other partnerships that center around Waymo Via, its autonomous trucking platform. For example, last year Waymo announced a partnership with Uber Freight to connect its technology with Uber’s platform and deploy autonomous trucks across Uber’s network. It also established a partnership to move goods with C.H. Robinson in late 2022.
On the ride-hailing side of things, Waymo has been expanding its platform rapidly. In May of this year, Waymo announced its robotaxis would be available to hair through the Uber app, and earlier that month it doubled its service area in Phoenix and San Francisco.
In February of this year, Waymo started fully driverless testing in Los Angeles, making it the third city to see driverless Waymo vehicles. And late last year, it began offering autonomous rides from downtown Phoenix to the Phoenix airport.
This momentum is what made the company decide to focus on ride-hailing and let autonomous trucking stay on the sidelines for now. The company is iterating more quickly than ever on its technology by pushing forward state-of-the-art AI and machine learning and has seen significant business growth and rider demand in San Francisco, Phoenix, and LA.
With opportunities to gather information in three different cities, Waymo’s autonomous driver is learning faster than ever. The company still has long-term plans to integrate its driver with a variety of vehicle platforms and commercial applications, including ride-hailing, trucking, local delivery, and personal car ownership.