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Google’s Waymo wants to help autonomous trucks to success



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Waymo CEO Krafcik used his speech at the opening of the IAA in Frankfurt to present his company as a specialist for autonomously driven freight vehicles. The alphabet company Waymo is considered an absolute expert in the development of software for self-driving cars. So far Waymo has been publicly perceived mainly in the context of the concept of robotaxis. His opening speech to the IAA in Frankfurt used Waymo CEO John Krafcik to add another facet to this perception. Afterward, Waymo wants to get more involved in setting up the market segment for self-propelled trucks. According to Krafcik, the company’s core technology, the so-called Waymo Driver, is not limited to passenger cars, but powerful enough to be used in trucks of various sizes. This has been the result of a number of tests across the United States carried out on trucks up to a total weight of 15 tonnes. Krafcik sees not only the safety aspects in the foreground. Rather, the autonomous truck is a solution to the ever-increasing personnel problem in the logistics industry. Thus, the transport companies could not meet the increasing transport needs with sufficient staff. Autonomous trucks could fill a gap there. It is important to Krafcik not to position Waymo as a competitor of existing car manufacturers. Rather, he wants his company to be understood as a kind of service provider for traditional carmakers, who can equip a piece of hardware with intelligent software.

The fact that Waymo is a luminary in this field is completely undisputed. The investment bank Morgan Stanley valued the company with approximately 175 billion US dollar and considers the enterprise thereby more valuable than Daimler and Volkswagen together.

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