Tags: uber | self-driving trucks | freight | arizona

Uber Self-Driving Trucks Now Hauling Freight in Arizona

Image: Uber Self-Driving Trucks Now Hauling Freight in Arizona
(Uber)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 March 2018 07:29 AM

Uber self-driving trucks have been transporting freight in Arizona since November in a move that could dramatically change the long-haul trucking industry.

The company has been quietly contracting with trucking companies to use Uber's self-driving Volvo trucks to take on loads through the state, meeting the automated vehicle at the Arizona border via transfer hubs and then transferring to a driven truck later to complete the trip, USA Today reported.

"The big step for us recently is that we can plan to haul goods in both directions, using Uber Freight to coordinate load pickups and drop-offs with local truckers," said Alden Woodrow, the product lead with Uber Advance Technologies Group, per USA Today. "Keeping trucking local allows these drivers to make money while staying closer to home."

According to Uber’s website, the company is actively hiring engineers to its locations in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Toronto to grow its self-driving truck technology.

"The consistent patterns and predictable road conditions of highway driving, combined with the fact that highways make up only five percent of U.S. roads, make it optimal to deploy self-driving technology," said the website.

"… As the demand for freight grows steadily, our team is driven by a sense of urgency to improve our transportation network."

Uber has not announced just how many trucks it currently has on the road in Arizona, what goods those trucks are actually shipping, and the miles they have logged, according to The Verge, but the Advanced Technology Group claims its vehicles have collectively traveled two million miles.

"We're not at the point where that system is running 24-7 at all times," Woodrow told The Verge. "But that's the direction that we'd like to get to."

USA Today said start-up Embark recently connected with Tesla and its new Tesla Semi program to get into the automatic domestic freight business.

Uber recently settled a lawsuit brought by Waymo, the name of Google's self-driving car program. Waymo charged that Uber was building light detection and ranging sensors based on trade secrets reportedly stolen by Anthony Levandowski, who started a company called Otto, which was purchased by Uber in 2016, USA Today reported.

Uber, which later fired Levandowski, had to give Waymo $245 million in equity to settle the suit but did not admit wrongdoing, USA Today said.

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Uber self-driving trucks have been transporting freight in Arizona since November in a move that could dramatically change the long-haul trucking industry.
uber, self-driving trucks, freight, arizona
385
2018-29-07
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 07:29 AM
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