LOS ANGELES — Google parent company Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo has announced that it is shifting focus to its ride-hailing service and pushing back the timeline for expansion of Waymo Via — the company’s autonomous commercial trucking arm.
In a blog posting published on Wednesday, July 26, Waymo officials said that they will continue their collaboration with Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) “to advance technical development of an autonomous truck platform.”
“Both our companies share the common goal of improving road safety and efficiency for fleet customers, so we’ll follow through with the platform investments we’ve made to create a redundant chassis to facilitate autonomous trucking,” the blog posting stated. “We look forward to continuing to bring together our autonomous tech with DTNA’s autonomous-ready Freightliner Cascadia platform and exploring the potential of future platforms. Our ongoing investment in advancing Waymo Driver capabilities, especially on freeway, will directly translate to trucking and benefit its development efforts.”
Autonomous driving software has come under strong regulatory scrutiny at a time when investors are concerned about heavy investments in the technology amid protracted development timelines.
The company said it is seeing significant growth and demand for ride-hailing services in San Francisco, Phoenix and Los Angeles, and is focusing on achieving commercial success in the business.
“Laser-focusing on ride-hailing today puts us, our partners, and our customers in a strong position to be successful in the future across all of the business lines we pursue over time,” Waymo said.
The unit’s Waymo Driver technology is used in a variety of platforms, from ride-hailing to trucking.
“We continue to see a significant future commercial opportunity for our trucking solution alongside other commercial applications of the Waymo Driver,” Waymo said.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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