Waymo scales back autonomous truck program

Autonomous vehicle technology developer Waymo has revealed that it will “push back the timeline” on its commercial and operational efforts on trucking and pause the majority of its technical development in that business, with some employees being made redundant.

Waymo states that it will now focus on the development of Waymo Driver, a company technology designed for integration into commercial applications such as ride-hailing, trucking, local delivery and also personal car ownership.

The decision was made as Waymo sees “substantial commercial opportunity” in ride-hailing. It will continue to advance the Waymo Driver solution by accelerating the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, while simultaneously growing the business and rider demand in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, and Phoenix, Arizona.

Despite pausing its trucking program, Waymo states that it will continue its partnership with Daimler Truck North America to advance technical development of an autonomous truck platform. With a shared goal of enhancing road safety and efficiency for fleet applications, Waymo will “follow through with the platform investments” it has made to “create a redundant chassis to facilitate autonomous trucking”.