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Waymo's sensors and software will enable Freightliner trucks to drive themselves. Photo: Waymo

Waymo, which recently opened up its driverless taxi service to the public in Phoenix, is now partnering with Daimler Trucks to deploy fully autonomous Freightliner semi-trucks in the U.S.

Why it matters: Robotaxis will be slow to roll out city by city, but self-driving trucks are somewhat easier to deploy on highways, with the potential to improve safety and efficiency for fleet customers while addressing a nationwide shortage of truck drivers.

What's happening: Waymo, the leader in self-driving technology, will supply its "driver" for a specially equipped version of Daimler's Freightliner Cascadia.

  • Waymo says its driving software is essentially the same for passenger cars and trucks, but Daimler must first develop a chassis with redundant brakes, steering and powertrain controls to enable autonomy.
  • The truck will be available to customers in the U.S. "in the coming years," the companies said, and potentially in other markets in the future.

Go deeper

Jan 8, 2021 - Economy & Business

Cruise hires ex-Delta Air Lines executive to lead rollout of self-driving taxis

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Cruise is turning to a former Delta Air Lines' executive to begin the rollout of its self-driving taxi business.

Why it matters: Gil West, who retired as Delta's chief operating officer last year at age 59, will become COO at Cruise as it shifts from research and development to commercialization of autonomous vehicles. He'll report to CEO Dan Ammann.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
26 mins ago - Economy & Business

Coinbase files to go public

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase on Thursday filed to go public via a direct listing.

Why it matters: This comes in the midst of a crypto boom, and the listing may further legitimize the industry.

Trump’s blunt weapon: State GOP leaders

Trump supporters rally near Mar-a-Lago on Feb. 15. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump didn't have to punish his critics in Congress — his allies back in the states instantly and eagerly did the dirty work.

Why it matters: Virtually every Republican who supported impeachment was censured back home, or threatened with a primary challenge.