Waymo Adds Daimler Trucks to Roster of Driverless Partnerships

Waymo has added the first trucking company to a fast-growing roster of manufacturers it will work with to develop driverless vehicles.

Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving unit is partnering withDaimler AG’s truck division to put Waymo’s technology to use in the Freightliner Cascadias, the companies announced in astatement Tuesday. The two said their jointly developed fully autonomous trucks will be available to U.S. customers in the coming years, without giving a more specific timeline.

Waymo already has passenger-car partnerships withFiat Chrysler Automobiles NV,Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc,Volvo Cars and the alliance betweenRenault SA,Nissan Motor Co. andMitsubishi Motors Corp. While the tech company recentlyopened up its driverless ride-hailing services to the public in Phoenix, Chief Executive officer John Krafcik has big ambitions for autonomous trucking, telling Bloomberg News a year ago that it may end up being a business thatcatches on faster.

Daimler Trucks already had a partnership with Torc Robotics, a U.S. startup itacquired a minority stake in last year, to speed up its development of autonomous trucks. The Freightliner Cascadia is the German manufacturer’s flagship model in North America, and the company unveiled a new version in early 2019 that it said would be able to brake, accelerate and steer at all speedson its own.

— With assistance by Christoph Rauwald

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