Waymo Via backs away from autonomous trucking

Alphabet Inc. is indefinitely delaying most work on by its Waymo Via autonomous trucking unit to focus efforts on robot-driven passenger cars for ride hailing.

Waymo Via is the latest to head to the sidelines in a shrinking field of autonomous trucking developers.

Waymo’s future in autonomous trucking had been whispered about by competitors since the layoff of 12,000 Alphabet employees in January. Waymo Via had been operating on a limited basis since March following operating but on a limited basis…

The timing of the announcement comes less than a week after rival Aurora Innovation (NASDAQ: AUR) raised $820 million in new funding with Uber as the largest purchaser of new Aurora stock.

The failure of Embark Trucks in March and its sale in May and TuSimple’s June 28 decision to seek a possible sale of its U.S. operations leaves three remaining players in a once-crowded field: Aurora, Torc Robotics and Kodiak Robotics.