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Waymo to Pilot Autonomous Big Rigs in Atlanta

Drivers in Atlanta will soon share the highways with autonomous trucks.

Waymo's bright blue autonomous trucks will hit the highways of Atlanta starting next week, shuttling cargo bound for Google's data centers. During the pilot, a trained human driver will sit behind the wheel, ready to take over, if necessary.

"Atlanta is one of the biggest logistics hubs in the country, making it a natural home for Google's logistical operations and the perfect environment for our next phase of testing Waymo's self-driving trucks," the Waymo team wrote in a Friday blog post. "This pilot, in partnership with Google's logistics team, will let us further develop our technology and integrate it into the operations of shippers and carriers, with their network of factories, distribution centers, ports and terminals."

Waymo self-driving truck

Waymo, which shares a parent company—Alphabet—with Google, has already been testing its self-driving trucks in California and Arizona for the past year.

"Our software is learning to drive big rigs in much the same way a human driver would after years of driving passenger cars," the company wrote. "The principles are the same, but things like braking, turning, and blind spots are different with a fully-loaded truck and trailer."

Rival Uber this week said its self-driving tucks have been operating on highways in Arizona for several months. Uber and Waymo recently reached a settlement in their legal battle over self-driving trade secrets. As part of the deal, Waymo got a 0.34 percent stake in Uber worth about $245 million.

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