Global logistics company C.H. Robinson Worldwide and Waymo Via yesterday said they have formed a long-term strategic partnership to explore practical applications of autonomous vehicles in supply chains. The partners will combine the Waymo Driver autonomy technology with C.H. Robinson's Navisphere logistics platform.
“We are excited to partner with Waymo Via to explore how autonomous driving technology can help bring increased capacity and sustainability into our logistics strategies,” said Chris O’Brien, chief commercial officer at C.H. Robinson. “Together, we are going to harness this emerging freight technology and its potential on behalf of customers and carriers.”
“We believe there is a real opportunity to bring our scale and information advantage to bear to help develop transportation solutions for them and their ability to participate in and benefit from AV [autonomous vehicles],” he added. “C.H. Robinson is also best positioned to represent the role of drivers and small and midsize carriers in a more autonomous future.”
C.H. Robinson has $28 billion in freight under management and provides 20 million shipments annually. The Eden Prairie, Minn.-based company said it serves nearly 100,000 supply chain customers and 85,000 contract carriers.
C.H. Robinson to run Waymo Via trucks in Texas
The collaborators said they will initially focus on running multiple pilots in the Dallas-Houston transportation lane, with Waymo Via autonomous trucks hauling C.H. Robinson’s customer freight. The companies said they plan to further develop and expand their technologies to improve the carrier and driver experience and address long-term driver shortages.
“We look forward to this collaboration with C.H. Robinson, both for their deep roots and experience in logistics and transportation, but also as a company that shares our vision of how technology and autonomous trucking can change our industry for the better,” said Charlie Jatt, head of commercialization for trucking at Waymo. “C.H. Robinson’s size, scale and platform gives us access to rich and unique transportation data along with customer relationships and pilot opportunities to help bring our Waymo Via solution to the market.”
Waymo Via is the autonomous trucking and local delivery service of Mountain View, Calif.-based Waymo LLC. Founded in 2009 as the Google Self-Driving Car Project, the Alphabet Inc. company claimed that it has autonomously driven tens of millions of miles on public roads in more than 13 U.S. states and tens of billions of miles in simulation. It raised $2.5 billion in June 2021.
In addition to Waymo Via, Waymo said Waymo Driver powers its Waymo One autonomous ride-hailing service. Waymo Via is also testing autonomous freight in Texas with J.B. Hunt and UPS.
Other autonomous trucking developers testing in Texas include Aurora and Uber Freight, TuSimple, Gatik, Kodiak Robotics, and Embark.
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