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UPS to Test Self-Driving Semi-Trucks

Waymo’s autonomous driving technology will provide an assist during the holiday season.

The holiday online shopping season is arriving at an inopportune time for an already-strained global supply chain.

Pandemic-related shutdowns, shipping bottlenecks and strong consumer demand bogged down the world’s shipping channels in recent months.

But a shortage of truck drivers — amid an extremely tight labor market — also played a major role.

One of the world’s largest logistics companies is apparently getting a little bit of help with the latter issue.

Waymo, the Google autonomous driving affiliate, announced an expansion of its partnership with UPS into Class 8 trucks.

The company’s self-driving semi-trucks will transport cargo between UPS’ air freight facilities in Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston.

Waymo said the trial would build on its earlier heavy truck tests, such as those with trucking firm J.B. Hunt.

But the company said it would also “help fill critical needs for our partners” during unprecedented times.

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