Staff Reports | Digital Free Press
Uber Freight and Waymo Via have launched a strategic partnership to connect technologies and deploy autonomous trucks at scale on the Uber Freight network.
This partnership brings together the power of Waymo’s autonomous driving technology with the scale of Uber Freight’s network and leading marketplace technology, unlocking a roadmap for the implementation of autonomous trucks on America’s roads, according to a press release.
“Uber Freight’s extensive, efficient and reliable digital network is essential to making autonomous trucks a reality,” said Lior Ron, head of Uber Freight, in a prepared statement.
“We are uniquely positioned to be the preferred network for autonomous trucks, with the scale and the marketplace expertise to deploy autonomous trucks in a way that benefits the entire industry. This partnership is an exciting leap forward and we are proud to work alongside the amazing team at Waymo Via to pioneer a hybrid freight network that truly empowers carriers and will ring in a new era of logistics.”
The agreement, Wamyo representatives say, is an important milestone in building the tools and infrastructure specific to the successful deployment of autonomous trucks for Uber Freight’s shipper and carrier customers.
Carriers that purchase trucks equipped with the Waymo Driver in the future will be able to opt-in to Uber Freight’s marketplace through a web-based application enabling autonomous assets on the Uber Freight network, the release states.
“Uber Freight’s network of shippers, carriers, and marketplace technology is a great match for the Waymo Driver,” said Charlie Jatt, head of commercialization for trucking at Waymo Via.
“Through this partnership, we can empower carriers to fully utilize their investments in the Waymo Via solution through Uber Freight, and create a great experience for shippers, while keeping our focus on developing the core Driver technology. We’re really excited to see how this partnership can impact the logistics industry and solve critical challenges over the next decade and beyond.”
These applications will provide a streamlined experience for onboarding, load booking and execution, trailer transfers, and payment while also enabling an ecosystem where human drivers and autonomous trucks can collaborate effortlessly in a hybrid network to move freight.
Both companies, representatives say, envision a future where autonomous trucks tackle the long-haul portion of driving, easing some of the burden of the increasing demand for freight while also enabling drivers to shift into short-haul jobs that enhance the occupation’s quality of life.
Additionally, the companies will explore what the transfer hub model could look like with Uber Freight’s universal trailer pool program, Powerloop, for easy and fast transfers between AV trucks and human drivers, streamlining operations between the first, middle and final mile.
“Partnering with Uber Freight opens up really interesting opportunities for us to help scale the Waymo Driver,” said Boris Sofman, head of engineering for trucking at Waymo Via. “By combining the Waymo Via solution with the Uber Freight platform, we’ll be able to apply proven marketplace technology to help carriers dynamically deploy the Waymo Driver where it’s most valuable and most capable. We can’t wait to see what else comes from this deep collaboration.”