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C.H. Robinson and Waymo Via, the trucking and local delivery unit of autonomous driving technology company Waymo, have formed a long-term strategic partnership to mutually explore the practical application of autonomous driving technology in logistics and supply chains. The partnership combines the benefits of Waymo’s innovative autonomous driving technology, the Waymo Driver, with C.H. Robinson’s Navisphere technology.
“Navisphere is C.H. Robinson’s global transportation management system. It powers our business, and because it connects shippers and carriers in the largest freight network in North America, it contains data on 20 million shipments a year and 3 million shipping lanes,” Chris O’Brien, chief commercial officer, C.H. Robinson, said. “That data is key to determining where AV technology has economic viability and where it can be applied for the greatest benefit.”
The collaboration will focus, initially, on running multiple pilots in the Dallas-Houston transportation lane, with Waymo Via autonomous trucks hauling C.H. Robinson’s customer freight. During and after the pilots, the companies will collaborate to shape the future development and expansion of autonomous driving technology as an additional transportation solution. This will provide much needed capacity, help improve the carrier and driver experience, and address the business challenges posed by long-term driver shortages.
“Together we can combine C.H. Robinson’s logistics expertise and scale of data with Waymo Via’s technology expertise to help tailor this new product to the specific needs of the logistic industry and apply it where it promises the most benefit,” Chalie Jatt, head of commercialization, Waymo, said. “That’s a powerful combination, and we believe that’s an important component of delivering economic viability of AV technology in the logistics industry.”