Waymo’s self-driving minivans get a lot of hype these days, and rightfully so. Its programthat a developer has come to having a truly autonomous vehicle that’s ready for the public, but did you know that Waymo isn’t just interested in shuttling people around, it wants to move bigger things too?
Yep, that’s right. Waymo has had a long-term heavy truck testing program, and the company announced on Wednesday via Twitter that this program would be coming back to the Phoenix metropolitan area — aka the epicenter of self-driving vehicle testing — after a period of absence.
“We’ll start driving on the freeways around Metro Phoenix and expand to additional routes over time,” the company said in a statement.
The trucks will be making their comeback starting this week, with a focus on testing on Phoenix’s highways and freeways. Previously Waymo has tested its trucks in locales such as Georgia and California.
It’s not entirely clear why Waymo had ceased its previous testing in the Grand Canyon state, but its autonomy-testing-friendly laws are seemingly a good enough reason to come back.
Waymo didn’t immediately respond to Roadshow’s request for further comment.