Waymo Via, the trucking and regional delivery system of the leading autonomous driving technology business Waymo, announced a partnership with the global leader in supply chain and fleet management solutions, Ryder System Inc., to expand and improve its autonomous transport venture. The collaboration with Ryder is aimed to deliver fleet management across Waymo Via trucking hubs and testing sites in Texas, Arizona, California, Ohio, and Michigan.
In recent months, Waymo Via has been actively ramping up its testing to enable the 5th generation Waymo Driver to establish a robust L4 redundant vehicle platform on class 8 trucks, bringing freight transport to top clients and continuing projects with the Daimler Trucks. Also, they are expanding their reach of operations in Texas, Arizona, and California to support all its initiatives. Recently it announced two significant updates on its current projects.
Waymo’s Trucking Hub in Dallas
In a mission to increase its footprint in Texas, Waymo is building a dedicated trucking hub in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, one of the liveliest areas in the United States, which will drive across I-10, I-20, and I-45. The 9-acre trucking hub, designed for commercial purposes, will manage hundreds of trucks as it scales its active region and amplifies large and complex autonomous testing.
It will enable more autonomous operations to meet increasing, complicated test requirements. The area is ideally located for long-distance roads over state boundaries and is well-connected to Waymo’s Phoenix operation center. Waymo plans to migrate to the site during the first half of next year.
The Dallas hub will be a central launch point for testing the Waymo Driver and its transfer hub model. The transfer hub model is a mix of automated and manual trucking that optimizes transfer hubs near highways. It will ensure that the Waymo Driver adheres to main roads and human drivers working on first and last-mile deliveries.
Scaling the approach requires a high level of organizational operations, which Ryder will accomplish. Ryder offers over 90 years of fleet management experience and a network of over 500 installations across a single web, allowing us to access standardized fleet service and scale efficiently.
The partnership covers fleet maintenance, inspections, and roadside support for all Waymo Via hubs and testing sites, including the upcoming Dallas center. Given Ryder’s scale and influence and Waymo’s access to AV fleet data, the two businesses will collaborate on autonomous truck maintenance and optimization model to maximize vehicle uptime and reliability. It will also ensure an efficient and seamless experience for their customers.
According to Department of Transportation registration data, Waymo has a robot truck fleet comprising 47 vehicles in the US.
Globally and in the US, the trucking industry plays an essential role in economic stability and prosperity. According to the American Trucking Associations, the trucking industry requires at least 60,000 additional drivers due to the increasing demand for commercial trucking. The growing demand creates more opportunities for trucking companies like Waymo to commercialize their autonomous truck driver model in the upcoming years.
Many giant companies invest in technologies that help advance autonomous trucks like Bridgestone, which invested in Kodiak Robotics, a self-driving trucking company, to revolutionize commercial trucking.