Exclusive: Watching Waymo build autonomous Freightliner Cascadias

Manufacturing of Waymo Via robot-driven Freightliner Cascadias, part of the future of long-haul trucking, resides in a century-old industrial building on St. Aubin Street where Chevrolet Gear & Axle operated in the mid-20th century heyday of General Motors…

Waymo gave Freightliner parent Daimler Truck North America a list of 1,500 requirements it needed to safely integrate the Waymo Driver’s compute system, which covers the back wall of what would otherwise be the sleeper cab.

Perception, or what the Waymo Driver sees; component redundancy to account for the lack of a human driver; and dealing with sensor-mucking weather events drove many of the requirements.

Under the front of the chassis, a redundant steering system helps assure the truck can safely get to the side of the road if one system fails. Ditto for redundant braking systems beneath the fifth wheel. A redundant battery power system is bolted to the back of the cab.