Friday, 19 October, 2018

Uber's self-driving trucks transporting goods across Arizona

Uber's self-driving trucks transporting goods across Arizona Uber's self-driving trucks transporting goods across Arizona
Nellie Chapman | 07 March, 2018, 20:06

Uber's autonomous trucks have been transporting cargo for commercial freight customers across Arizona's highways for several months.

The trucks won't be fully driverless-they'll still have human safety drivers behind the wheel. For now, an Uber Freight employee accompanies the truck, turning on the self-driving mode on the highways.

Uber has a video depicting this journey, which took place staring in then midwest and then via short haul to Sanders, Arizona, where it was loaded onto an autonomous truck and then transferred to Topock, Arizona, where it made the switch to another human-driven vehicle.

Uber's driverless trucks will operate as part of Uber Freight, a freight-hauling app and network that Uber launched previous year.

"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 dropoffs with local truckers", said Alden Woodrow, product lead for Uber's self-driving trucks.

Uber has been testing the self-driving trucks with an operator at the wheel a year ago.

Uber Freight handles the load sourcing, just as it dos for connecting shippers with regular human truckers. The Los Angeles truck driver is then able to "be home in time for dinner".

Finally, the load will be transferred back to another human driver, who will carry it to its final destination and deal with the complexities of handing the trailer off at its destination. "Keeping trucking local allows these drivers to make money while staying closer to home".

Woodrow said that he does not envision Uber running a fleet itself, so it's more likely that the software may become available for shipping companies to purchase and implement on their own. It's also the first we've heard about Uber's self-driving truck business in a little while, so it's good to see Uber's continuing to make progress and devote attention to this issue.