Self-Driving Long-Haul Trucks Are Hitting Texas Highways Now!

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Tony Maples Photography


Announcing Thursday, January 23, 2020, that self-driving long-haul trucks were taking to Texas highways, Waymo’s Twitter feed got a lot of attention! The company stated that it will start with the long-haul trucks and Chrysler Pacificas, choosing the states of Texas and New Mexico for the launch of their autonomous vehicles.

Waymo’s Twitter announcement came just ahead of the of the inaugural runs of the self-driving long-haul trucks, which were scheduled to hit the road in late January/early February 2020. “This week, we’ll start driving our Chrysler Pacificas and long-haul trucks in Texas and New Mexico. These are interesting and promising commercial routes, and we’ll be using our vehicles to explore how the Waymo Driver might be able to create new transportation solutions,” announced a Twitter post by the company. The tweet was shared 97 times (to date) and like by 246 users of the popular social media platform. One commenter, in particular, viewed the tweet as an opportunity for some humor, saying, “Wow so there’ll be waymo trucks on the road than before?” However, many others had pointed questions concerning safety, automation causing job loss, and technological advancements.

Photo: Twitter/Waymo

Details with respect to testing and simulations for the self-driving long-haul trucks can be found on the Waymo website at the link available here. According to reports, the truck (called the Waymo Driver) has been put through the most stringent and longest ongoing driving test in the world, and it has millions of miles logged on public roads. This doesn’t include the billions of miles they put it through in simulation. Testing sites were noted as being a number of places in California, as well as Detroit, Michigan, Atlanta, Georgia, and right here in the Texas Hill Country, in the city of Austin. In the past few years, this autonomous vehicle company (which belongs to the Google parent company called Alphabet) has launched fleets of self-driving long-haul trucks and minivans in Arizona, California, and Georgia.