Uber wants to do for truckers what it did for cab drivers

When Uber bought up Otto’s self-driving truck platform, the initial reaction was to imagine a future fleet of autonomous trucks traveling coast to coast on America’s interstates. According to a new report from Reuters, that reality is still years — possibly decades — away. In the short term, however, Uber plans to leverage the Otto purchase to build up its own freight business and make a name for itself as the go-to technology partner for the trucking industry.

“Uber has already started pitching services to shippers, truck fleets and independent drivers, and the services go well beyond Otto’s initially stated goal of outfitting trucks with self-driving technology,” Reuters reports. “It also plans to compete with the brokers who connect truck fleets and shippers.”

CEO Travis Kalanick has long described Uber as a logistics company and the Otto partnership comes with additional navigation, mapping and tracking technology that will give Uber footing as it looks to build out a freight network connecting shippers and carriers. The company’s UberEats food delivery and UberRush shipping service have already done the same thing on the city-level and, according to Otto co-founder Lior Ron, the new goal is about “building that long-haul piece.”

Whereas an Uber might take three minutes to show up at your door, Ron explained, “the golden standard [in freight] is that it takes (the broker) five hours of phone calls to find your truck. That’s how efficient the industry is today.” Although Otto already employees a handful of truckers to help test the self-driving technology, the company will reportedly start moving real shipments “fairly soon” and Otto’s next goal is to build relationships with independent truckers, much as it did with taxi and delivery drivers — for better or for worse.

Source: Reuters

Source: Engadget - Read the full article here

Author: Daily Tech Whip

This article is part of our 'News Tiles' service. The site is currently in Beta. When it is fully operational you will be able to search through and arrange the 'Tiles' to display a keyword, product or technology over your chosen time period. For example you would be able to display all of the leading tech articles on the new Kindle Fire, in one spot in real time. You will also have access to our own original reporting and analysis as well as a polished place to post your own thoughts & reviews here, amongst the Daily Tech Whip Community. Please let us know if you have any feedback via the contact form or via Twitter. Don't forget to come back next week and see our full site and claim your name and your own free tech blog.

Share This Post On