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Waymo expands its autonomous big rig tests to Texas and New Mexico

Its Chrysler Pacifica minivans will also hit the road in those states.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
January 23, 2020
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If you're in Texas or New Mexico, you might soon see Waymo's autonomous trucks on the road. Alphabet's self-driving division is expanding tests of its big rigs to those states.

Waymo will use its Chrysler Pacifica minivans for mapping roads, and the trucks will mostly be on interstates and in cities such as El Paso, Dallas and Houston. They won't be carrying any fright during the tests, and there'll be a safety driver at the wheel.

The company has also tested the big rigs in Arizona, California and Georgia. Texas, which has "very high freight volume" according to Waymo Trucking product lead Vijaysai Patnaik, is particularly welcoming to autonomous vehicle trials.

It might be a while yet before autonomous trucks are hauling goods all over the US. But with trucking accounting for the majority (some 70 percent) of domestic freight, there are plenty of opportunities awaiting Waymo, Uber and Tesla and their autonomous big rigs.

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