New Autonomous Trucking Terminal Opens in Texas

Waabi opens facility in Dallas suburbs as it plans driverless operations

Graham Hope

May 6, 2024

2 Min Read
Waabi's new autonomous trucking terminal in Texas.

Self-driving tech company Waabi has opened a new autonomous trucking terminal in Texas as it plans driverless operations in the state.

The facility, which has been purpose-built to serve autonomous trucks, stretches over eight acres in the city of Lancaster, in the southern suburbs of Dallas.

Among the key features of the site are a large area for trailer parking, a 24.7k square-foot office and maintenance shop, high-speed data offload capability, a fuel station and weighing scales, plus pre-trip and post-trip inspection zones.

Waabi, which counts Swedish automaker Volvo among its investors, launched its first autonomous commercial operation in Texas last year, via a partnership with Uber Freight, hauling loads between Dallas and Houston.

The Toronto-based company believes that putting in place this important piece of infrastructure will help attract new partners and refine its operating processes and customer services, as it advances towards its ultimate target of commercial driverless operation.

Raquel Urtasun, founder and CEO of Waabi, explained: “Texas is a critical location for us as it is the home to our first commercial operations and several important shipping corridors. By establishing our presence here, we are committed to creating more opportunities for autonomous trucking in the region.

Related:Volvo Backs Waabi on Driverless Truck Tech

“We see this facility as a key player in not only Waabi’s future, but the future of autonomous trucking, as we use it to scale our operations to continue pushing the boundaries of this industry.”

The Lone Star State has become a hub for autonomous trucking thanks to its relaxed approach to regulation – in sharp contrast with California, where there has been a high-profile campaign to prevent driverless heavy goods vehicles from testing.

Alongside Waabi, other companies have also established a significant presence in Texas, running autonomous services with safety drivers.

Pittsburgh-based Aurora Innovation has bookended the popular Dallas-Houston route with two similar terminals as it eyes driverless operations later this year.

Silicon Valley’s Kodiak Robotics is also targeting driverless testing on the same route in 2024, as CEO Don Burnette revealed to IOT World Today in an interview in January. 

“The Association couldn’t be more excited to witness Waabi’s growth right here in Texas,” John D. Esparza of the Texas Trucking Association (TXTA) said. “With the addition of this new AV terminal, we will continue to show ourselves as a state committed to innovation in autonomous trucking and safety.”

Related:California Governor Vetoes Bill to Ban Driverless Trucks

About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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