Daimler and Waymo join hands to develop self-driving semi-trucks

Daimler AG’s the Commercial truck unit manufacture and Waymo announced on Tuesday that they will work together on the development of self-driving Class 8 semi-trucks, by introducing Waymo’s automated system to Daimler`s Freightliner Cascadia.

The partnership accelerates a race to put automated heavy-duty trucks on the road, with a handful of powerful teams chasing commercial customers seeking to reduce dependence on human drivers.

Waymo Chief Executive John Krafcik said that a long time will be required to supply hardware to develop a fully automated semi to market in high volume.The agreement is a milestone for the Waymo because it is their first proper agreement with an established vehicle maker.

Daimler and their rival PACCAR control 70 per cent of the U.S class heavy truck sector. The head of Daimler TrucksMartin Daum said that that the agreement will not change the company’s commitment to spend 500 million euros on automated truck development.  He said that their in-house effort to develop a fully automated truck will continue.

There are other companies doing investment in bringing automated technology to heavy vehicles, such as Tesla and Volkswagen already announced their plans. The Swedish company Volvo, is working with Nvidia for bringing automation to its vehicles.UPS has its commercial agreement with Waymo and Navistar is working with Chinese company TuSimple which has signed development deals with Amazon and with UPS.