J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. recently announced a long-term, strategic alliance with Waymo Via the company says "will advance innovative efforts to integrate commercial autonomous driving technology in transportation and logistics, with ultimate plans to complete fully autonomous transport in Texas in the next few years."
"Our pilot last year with Waymo Via really helped us get a hands-on understanding of how autonomous driving technology could be implemented within our operations," said Craig Harper, chief sustainability officer and executive vice president at J.B. Hunt. "This strategic alliance will continue that momentum and further explore the intricate details that would make this a value-driven solution for customers. We believe autonomous driving technology will help us create the most efficient transportation network in North America, and our collaboration with Waymo Via is a pivotal step towards fulfilling that mission.”
The expanded collaboration will include multiple pilots to further analyze the operational capacity of Waymo Via, the company’s autonomous Class 8 trucking unit powered by the Waymo Driver, to address customer needs in realistic scenarios. Waymo and J.B. Hunt completed their first trial runs last year moving freight along I-45 in Texas for one of J.B. Hunt’s leading customers. The upcoming pilots will take place in the same lane.
Beyond the highway, the two will explore solutions that merge two of the called "the most innovative forces in the transportation industry - autonomous driving technology and the digital marketplace." J.B. Hunt’s technology platform -- J.B. Hunt 360° -- was responsible for processing 1.2 million loads in 2020. Waymo has over a decade of experience in building autonomous driving technology, having driven over 20 million miles on public roads across 13+ U.S. states and 20 billion miles in simulation.