Last month, Uber launched its website for a new service named Uber Freight. There is only little information revealed regarding its expansion from the ride hailing services. However, if Uber’s announcements during 2016 are an indicator, the chances are Uber Freight is there to prepare everyone for the autonomous delivery trucks.
Self driving cars from Uber
Uber acquired Otto, a startup that planned to start self driving cars in the market, last August. Ever since, the company made use of its trucks in order to deliver a cargo of 50,000 cans of beer and Christmas trees in California.
Uber Freight is not going to use these self driving cars, well not yet. Instead, it is going to work the same way as Uber’s current platform. Some people are going to sign up for them to drive items all over the country, while others are going to join in order for them to send the packages without the need to sign contracts with the traditional shipping companies. The service is going to probably increase pricing to the trucking also.
Uber Freight may assist Otto’s trucks, too, with data gathered from the drivers using the new service. This is going to let self driving vehicles learn from experienced drivers while the regulators are figuring out ways to govern these autonomous trucks, including its technology.
Growing interest in trucking
The launch of Uber Freight also occurs simultaneously with the increasing interest in trucking by a lot of tech companies. Nikola Motor Company intends to make use of technology to have trucking be more environment friendly, as well as attractive to millennials; Tesla is working on self driving trucks; the list goes on.
Uber mentioned to Inverse that it will wait until this New Year to further provide information regarding how this new system is going to work. Uber’s spokesperson mentioned that they do not have information yet, but they hope to have more this 2017.
It seems that the future related to trucking, or even one possible future, will take more time to have its debut. Regardless, this new system from Uber is likely going to increase the need for truck driver jobs soon.