At the Frankfurt motor show, Waymo participated with its idea of exploring ways to deploy its autonomous driving technology in the trucking industry as it is collaborating with industry partners to grab a commercial opportunity arising from a threatening human driver shortage in the freight industry.
Uptill now so-called robotaxis remained the main point of focus of Waymo with Alphabet Inc’s Google at the back of it, but its self-driving technology, Waymo Driver, so developed in the process is suitable for road freight steering wheels too, said CEO John Krafcik in his remarks prepared for a speech to the motor show.
Though ride-hailing is an important part to make use of Waymo Driver, but that technology can also make trucking more safer and stronger and it can also fulfill an increasing need for more drivers in many parts of the world, Krafcik told political and industry leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the event’s official opening.
Waymo, across the United States, has already went through conducting trials of Waymo driver in Class 8 trucks and to ensure the successful deployment of the technology, is in deep collaboration with the ecosystem that includes shippers, truck manufacturers and Tier One suppliers.
For the coming years, analysts and experts are forecasting a severe shortage of truck drivers in aging societies with Germany also included in it, and that scenario increases the need of developing appropriate applications, by the mobility players including Uber Technologies, to achieve the goal of boosting the efficiency of freight sector.
Waymo is now in the field for about ten years and is widely viewed as the leading player in the development of self-driving technology, but the challenge of attaining the milestone of fully safer automation of the vehicles is still there with the companies in the field also seeking their technology so developed to payback the every dollar they remained spending in research and development of that technology.