Waymo, the successor company of Google’s self-driving car programme, has started to develop self-driving trucks, according to Reuters.
The company told reporters that it expected autonomous deliveries to take over from humans for long distances over the coming years, while shorter routes will continue to be manned.
A Waymo spokesperson said in a statement: “We’re taking our eight years of experience in building self-driving hardware and software and conducting a technical exploration into how our technology can integrate into a truck.”
The plans may bring further tension with Uber which is also running a self-driving truck programme following its acquisition of Otto in July 2016.
Waymo is engaged in an ongoing legal battle with Uber over the alleged theft of 14,000 documents by the ride-hailing company’s former self-driving chief.
Following the Otto acquisition, Uber hired co-founder Anthony Levandowski, who had previously worked at Google’s self-driving project before striking out on his own.
The company sacked Levandowski on Wednesday, citing his refusal to cooperate in the ongoing investigation.