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Waymo, J.B. Hunt expand tie-up to commercialize autonomous trucking technology -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Waymo’s logo displayed as the Chrysler Pacifica, a self-driving minivan, at the North American International Auto Show (Detroit, Michigan), U.S.A, January 8, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – U.S. truck operator J.B. Hunt Transport Services and Alphabet, (NASDAQ:) Inc’s self-driving unit Waymo, are expanding their alliance in order to establish fully autonomous trucking operations within Texas over the coming years, they announced on Friday.

The companies started testing self-driving trucks in June 2013. They were supervised by drivers and technicians to transport cargo from Houston to Fort Worth, Texas.

Both companies stated that their long-term collaboration will also include an analysis of Waymo Via’s operational capability, which encompasses trucking, last-mile deliveries and other services, to help customers meet their needs.

J.B. Hunt said that they would also explore technological integrations with Waymo. Waymo Via could be made available via J.B. Hunt 360.

Waymo and others have been creating autonomous driver technology over the past decade. But, commercial operations on a large scale for such services haven’t yet begun.

U.S. trucks and delivery companies already face driver shortages. These problems are exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and difficult work conditions.

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