As we enter into the holiday season, this year’s delivery demand and the need for freight movement remains unprecedented, and Waymo Via will help fill critical needs for our partners during this time. That’s why we’re expanding our partnership with UPS to autonomous freight movement with Class 8 trucks, a natural next step following the strong and successful partnership we’ve had testing local delivery.
Over the next several weeks, we’ll conduct autonomous trial runs together using our Waymo Via Class 8 trucks equipped with the fifth-generation Waymo Driver. These trial runs will take place in Texas, where the Waymo Driver will deliver for UPS’s North American Air Freight unit between facilities in Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. We hope to gather early learnings about how autonomous driving technology can help enhance safety and efficiency, evaluate the performance of the autonomous system and successful delivery of freight, and understand how to refine our autonomous operations in this use case for eventual scaling.
These Class 8 trial runs will build on all of the learnings and success we’ve had testing with UPS over the years, as well as our previous Class 8 trial runs with other carriers across unique verticals, including J.B. Hunt. While it’s still early days, this partnership with UPS is a great example of how Waymo Via is creating an autonomous delivery solution spanning trucking and local delivery that can offer customers unique safety benefits, network flexibility, and scalability.