JB Hunt trials Waymo autonomous truck

Freight route along I-45 will be completed using Level 4 autonomous technology 
Detection, Monitoring & Machine Vision / July 8, 2021
By Ben Spencer
JB Hunt Transport Services Waymo Via Waymo Driver Texas Houston Fort Worth
Waymo Via is to haul freight in Houston and Fort Worth (image credit: Waymo)

JB Hunt Transport Services is using Waymo's autonomous trucking unit to move freight in Texas while also exploring how the technology can enhance safety. 

The supply chain solutions provider says the test run will use Waymo Via, powered by the Waymo Driver, to haul freight between facilities in Houston and Fort Worth for one of its customers. 

The transport along Interstate 45 will be completed using Level 4 autonomous driving technology supervised by Waymo autonomous specialists, a commercially-licensed driver and a software technician.

Craig Harper, chief sustainability officer at JB Hunt, says: “This will be one of the first opportunities for JB Hunt to receive data and feedback on customer freight moved with a Class 8 tractor operating at this level of autonomy.”

“While we believe there will be a need for highly skilled, professional drivers for many years to come, it is important for J.B. Hunt as an industry leader to be involved early in the development of advanced autonomous technologies and driving systems to ensure that their implementation will improve efficiency while enhancing safety.” 

Both companies have worked on studies that explored topics such as best practices for regular maintenance, what future facility layouts will look like and which lanes are best suited for autonomous driving technology.

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