J.B. Hunt Transport Services announced it will integrate Waymo Via’s commercial autonomous driving technology in its transportation and logistics business, with plans to complete fully autonomous transport in Texas in the next few years.
Last year, Waymo and J.B. Hunt completed their first trial runs moving freight along Interstate 45 in Texas for one of J.B. Hunt’s leading customers. Now this 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. The upcoming pilots will take place in the same lane.
"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.”
J.B. Hunt will make Waymo Via accessible through J.B. Hunt 360, a digital freight matching platform responsible for processing 1.2 million loads in 2020.
Additionally, the collaboration will include operational and market studies to refine the commercial readiness of the driving technology.
“Establishing this strategic alliance … paves the way for us both to help grow the foundations for successful deployment and to capitalize on the benefits of autonomous driving technology,” said Charlie Jatt, head of commercialization for trucking at Waymo.