Today, Daimler Trucks and Waymo announced a partnership that will work to deploy Waymo’s Level 4 autonomous driving technology to Daimler’s semi-trucks.
The news comes only a day after it was reported that Mercedes-Benz would be stepping away from developing its autonomous driving technology. That news has since been denied by Mercedes who insists that the company is still moving forward with its own technology.
However, it does appear on the trucking side of the company, Daimler Trucks are happy to employ the experience of Waymo and their purpose-built autonomous driving hardware and software and place them in their trucks. The system is described as L4, so not 100% full autonomous driving, but it should be more than enough for the roads that most semi-trucks drive on, barring any extreme conditions or scenarios.
Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG and Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, commented:
“As leader of our industry, Daimler Trucks is the pioneer of automated trucking. In recent years, we have achieved significant progress on our global roadmap to bringing series-produced highly automated trucks to the road. With our strategic partnership with Waymo as the leader in autonomous driving, we are taking another important step towards that goal. This partnership complements Daimler Trucks’ dual strategy approach, of working with two strong partners to deliver autonomous L4 solutions that are seamlessly integrated with our best-in class trucks, to our customers.”
John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, also stated:
“We have the highest regard for Daimler’s engineering skills and broad global truck product portfolio, and so we look forward to scaling the Waymo Driver, together with our new partner, to improve road safety and logistics efficiency on the world’s roadways.”
No further information was given regarding the partnership and Daimler only stated that US customers should be expecting a Waymo-equipped Freightliner Cascadia truck in the “coming years”. Markets outside the United States are still under investigation.
What do you guys think of the partnership and will it affect Mercedes’ decisions in regards to autonomous technology? Let us know down in the comments below.