Waymo, the self-driving car company is expanding into trucks. In a Medium post, the company (a subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc., itself an offshoot of Google) confirmed rumors that it has been working on self-driving truck technology for the past year and is moving its efforts onto public roads in Atlanta. "Trucking is a vital part of the American economy," Waymo says in the Medium post. "We believe self-driving technology has the potential to make this sector safer and even stronger." Trucking, with its long hauls over largely straight highways, is widely considered to be one of the areas of driving most open to self-driving technology. Waymo's competition in the field includes Tesla, Volkswagen, and a variety of other companies looking to shake up the trucking industry. The company has been testing its trucks in California and Arizona before taking them into the wider world."Our software is learning to drive big rigs in much the same way a human driver would after years of driving passenger cars," Waymo says. "The principles are the same, but things like braking, turning, and blind spots are different with a fully-loaded truck and trailer. Waymo promises that each truck will feature a "highly-trained" driver that will keep track of each truck's systems and have the ability to take control if needed. The company also cites its the "five million miles we’ve already self-driven on public roads, plus the five billion miles we’ve driven in simulation" as safety precautions.
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