Over the last 8 years, Uber has gone from a convenient car service to branching out into a long-haul trucking company with Uber Freight. Since its latest acquisition of Otto, a self-driving truck startup, for $650 million in 2016, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is embracing the challenging new venture with the same excitement and tenacity that made Uber a success.
Uber is no stranger to automation in the transportation industry; a pilot program in April 2016 had self-driving cars pick up random customers in Pittsburgh with a human in the driver’s seat (a legal requirement) and a co-pilot taking notes. The trips were free of charge and were used as a touch point to promote the car’s capabilities. Uber plans on using Otto, a company that builds hardware kits to automate pre-existing truck models, as a launching pad into the automated trucking and freight industry.
In October 2016, a truck was equipped with Otto’s hardware kit, including two cameras for lane detection; a LIDAR sensor to create a 3D environment; two front-facing radar sensors to detect obstacles and other vehicles on the road, and a GPS sensor to help pinpoint the truck’s location. The vehicle made the first ever driverless commercial cargo delivery to Colorado Springs. A driver, who only took control of the vehicle once the truck entered city limits, monitored the 100-mile trip.
With innovations from Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group and Otto’s automation-enabling hardware, Uber Freight is poised to be a success story that could change the long-haul transportation game for years to come. With less of a need for drivers, shipping costs change just as dramatically. Stay ahead of the changes with Intelligent Audit’s auditing software, meant to catch billing errors from new, unfamiliar price matrices.
Intelligent Audit provides its clients with a global, all-mode transportation audit, recovery, freight payment, and business intelligence reporting partner.