The companies said on Friday, Truck fleet operator J.B. Hunt Transport Services and self-driving vehicle unit Waymo, part of Alphabet Inc., announced Friday their plans to deploy autonomous trucking services in Texas in the next few years.
During June of last year, the companies began testing self-driving trucks delivered cargo between Houston and Fort Worth, Texas, with the assistance of a driver and a technician.
As part of their collaboration, Waymo Via will analyze its operational capacity to meet the needs of customers, which covers trucking and deliveries to the last mile.
A technological integration between J.B. Hunt and Waymo is also being explored, according to the company, in which Waymo Via would be available on J.B. Hunt’s digital marketplace, J.B. Hunt 360.
The technologies that Waymo and other companies have been developing over the last decade have not yet achieved large-scale commercial applications for moving freight or transporting people on a daily basis.
There is already a driver shortage among trucking and delivery firms in the U.S. caused in part by COVID-19, hard working conditions, and an aging workforce.