Waymo is pausing its efforts to develop autonomous truck know-how to refocus on ridehailing companies as an alternative. The Alphabet-owned firm announced today that it’ll “push again” the timeline on its business and operational efforts for trucking and also will be scaling again growth within the unit. A small variety of staff have been laid off because of the choice.
Waymo’s trucking unit, often known as Waymo Through, sat alongside its Waymo One robotaxi division. Taken collectively, they characterize the corporate’s efforts to commercialize its autonomous driving know-how. Now the timeline and the way forward for its autonomous vehicles are in query.
The information follows reporting earlier this yr that Waymo would “barely” delay its Through timeline after laying off an unknown number of employees. However the information appeared particularly dangerous for the trucking division, with sources telling TechCrunch that Waymo Through was on the chopping block.
Waymo plans to proceed to work with Daimler (the father or mother firm of Mercedes-Benz) on the event of a driverless truck. The corporate additionally plans to proceed growth of its Driver product as a system that may be scaled to several types of automobiles (not particularly vehicles). Daimler and Waymo had initially related in 2020 with a objective to construct “SAE Degree 4 vehicles.”
“We proceed to develop a generalizable Driver that may be utilized throughout quite a lot of car platforms and purposes over time — together with trucking,” Waymo spokesperson Katherine Barna stated. “We’re creating a generalizable Driver, persevering with our work on freeway, persevering with our partnership with Daimler Truck — all of which is able to assist us to be prepared to face up our trucking efforts when the time is correct.”
In the meantime, in California, state legislators will soon vote on a invoice that might require actual human drivers to be current always inside autonomous vehicles, which the trade stated could be a demise sentence for driverless vehicles within the state. Specialists beforehand predicted that self-driving semi vehicles would turn into a factor earlier than robotaxis for the reason that know-how and issues have been considered a lot easier.