Uber Pulls ahead of Waymo in the Test Phases

As self-driving become more of a reality, automobile and tech giants are no longer tentatively seeking to test the viability of the technology. Those on the forefront, such as Uber and Waymo, have already kicked off on-road trials and are planning on introducing the tech to semi-trucks.

While Uber has gotten a self-driving truck venture and already conducted a number of tests across the country, its rival Waymo has also been spotted testing its own autonomous semi-trucks.

According to Buzzfeed, Waymo’s self-driving truck was spotted in a photo before the project was confirmed by the firm. A spokesperson from the Google owned, Waymo dished on the details of the project in question.

Currently, they are only testing one vehicle and it is not exactly self-driven. The truck has to be manually driven when it is on public domain to collect huge amounts of information probably due to the difference in the build of the vehicles. The system needs to ascertain the space required to make a stop or even turn when needed.

Uber Pulls ahead of Waymo in the Test Phases


In this regard, Uber seems to be ahead in the testing phase having already delivered its first shipment in a self-driving freight vehicle, just a short while after acquiring Otto. The company already sketched its plan meant to redefine the trucking business with the $680 million acquisition the previous year.

Though it is presently the center of attraction in a lawsuit going on against Waymo which claims, Anthony Lewandoski stole critical documents worth almost 10 GB of data. While it is not directly debuting self-driving trucks, Uber has already created a mobile application known as “Uber Freight,” which was meant to remove the middlemen from the equation and make the booking process simpler for the drivers.

This was meant to lay the groundwork for advanced self-driving plans which it has already put into motion considering its success with the delivery of beer cans across Colorado.

Otto put up to 50,000 cans of Budweiser in an 18-wheeler which took itself from the city of Loveland Colorado to Colorado Springs. The truck drove at an average speed of 55 miles per hour and nothing went awry.

In fact, a state trooper followed the truck to monitor its progress. The delivery itself was also successful though the firm is not quite ready yet to unveil it.

There have been some bumps on the road considering the vehicles were accused of breaking the California driving regulations, though it also has had time to test and plan for its network entailing automated delivery vehicles.

What this Means for the Transport Industry

The intensity with which self-driving technology is progressing means a lot for transport and infrastructure. At this rate, we might say that taxi, bus and truck drivers may become obsolete in a decade or even less.

The trouble is the tech is not being championed from one source and this assures its herald to the global scene.

Uber and Waymo are not the only firms in the race. Other firms, like Embark, are also quietly developing a self-driving truck and Tesla’s semi is going to benefit from the autopilot suite of electronic driving aids. Even the United States Army is in on the craze as they will start to test autonomous line haulers in Michigan in the coming weeks.

[See More: Exclusive Interview With Phil Bezanson On Uber-Waymo, and Uber’s Strange Course of Action]