CHANDLER, Ariz. — 12 News is getting an exclusive look at Waymo's self-driving semi-trucks. The trucks have been on the road for a while, but Waymo has never given a media outlet a closer look at them.
The trucks use the same technology as Waymo's self-driving minivans, which people can sign up and hail like cabs.
The trucks have sensors and cameras mounted on the top and sides, but also have additional sensors mounted on the trailer.
"It has a huge trailer behind it, which means blind spots for the trucks," Waymo's Vijay Patnaik said. "They accelerate and brake much differently than other vehicles, sometimes more slowly than other vehicles."
But unlike Waymo's minivans, which need highly detailed scans of every road in their operating area, Patnaik said the semi-trucks can get by with only scans of freeways since they're usually less complicated than surface streets.
For now, Waymo's semi-trucks still operate with two professional truck drivers in the cab, just to make sure the truck operates correctly.
But Waymo says it plans to go fully driverless in both the minivans and the trucks sometime soon.