Uber Freight and Waymo Via announce new strategic partnership

Earlier this week, San Francisco-based Uber Freight, a subsidiary of ubiquitous ride-sharing service Uber, whose proprietary app connects trucking companies with loads to haul, and Mountain View-based Waymo Via, in California, the trucking and local delivery unit of self-driving technology company Waymo, announced it has established a long-term strategic partnership.

The companies said the goal of the partnership is to connect their respective technologies and deploy self-driving trucks at scale on the Uber Freight network, while combining Waymo’s self-driving technology with the network and market technology of Uber Freight. ‘Uber Freight.

“Uber Freight’s extensive, efficient and reliable digital network is essential to making self-driving trucks a reality,” Uber Freight chief executive Lior Ron said in a statement. “We are uniquely positioned to be the preferred network for self-driving trucks, with the scale and market expertise to deploy self-driving trucks in a way that benefits the entire industry. This partnership is an exciting step forward and we are proud to work alongside the incredible team at Waymo Via to create a hybrid freight network that truly empowers carriers and will usher in a new era of logistics. .

A spokesperson for Uber Freight said ML that this announcement is the culmination of close collaboration between the two companies, over a long period, before making it official. Uber Freight and Waymo had no prior relationship or partnership.

As for what drove the need for partnership, she said the increase in demand, coupled with a shortage of drivers, has brought the industry to an inflection point.

“The future of logistics relies on a combination of self-driving trucks and human-driving trucks deployed efficiently and at scale on a digital and optimized network, eliminating dead heads, streamlining supply chains and helping to create safer roads,” she said. “The deep relationship and milestone agreement between Uber Freight and Waymo goes beyond the drivers to combine the power of Waymo’s self-driving technology with Uber Freight’s network-wide and industry-leading technology. of the market, ultimately unlocking a roadmap for the thoughtful and safe implementation of the Waymo driver on America’s roads at scale.

Additionally, the spokesperson explained that the breadth and depth of this partnership means that Uber Freight (alongside its 3PL subsidiary Transplace) will be able to integrate autonomy seamlessly into transport networks. shippers and advise on how best to adjust their supply chain strategies for a hybrid. future of the network.

“Through this partnership, shippers will also have all the tools they need to transform sourcing strategies and integrate self-driving capability into their day-to-day operations,” she said. “Uber Freight is also uniquely positioned to combine shipments from its $17 billion in freight under management to maximize the use of self-driving trucks and continuously optimize routes once the technology is deployed, helping realize cost savings and improve service and reliability for shippers.”

As part of the partnership, Waymo Via intends to reserve billions of miles of its freight-only capacity for the Uber Freight network, promising to have a significant impact on the industry in the short and long term, a said the spokesperson, adding that deploying billions of miles of freight-only Waymo Via capacity across Uber Freight’s vast network will ensure the technology has a significant impact for shippers and carriers, freeing up capacity at a time when shippers need it most and bringing more freight to market for carriers of all sizes to take advantage of.

“An expansive and efficient digital network like Uber Freight is essential to making self-driving trucks a reality,” she said. “Uber Freight is uniquely positioned as the preferred network for self-driving freight. We provide the data and algorithms needed to deploy self-driving trucks in a way that benefits the entire industry (carriers, shippers, OEMs and drivers). Additionally, our customers and partners have always been early and enthusiastic adopters of new technologies and supply chain innovations. The two companies envision a future where safely deployed self-driving trucks tackle the long-haul part of driving, easing some of the burden of growing freight demand while allowing drivers to transition to jobs on short distances that bring them home more often and improve the quality of life of the profession, thus creating value for all links in the supply chain.

Charlie Jatt, Marketing Manager for Trucking, Waymo Via, in a statement that Uber Freight’s network of shippers, carriers and marketplace technology is a perfect match for the Waymo driver.

“Through this partnership, we can enable carriers to fully utilize their investments in the Waymo Via solution through Uber Freight, and create a great experience for shippers, while focusing on developing the core Driver technology” , said Jatt. “We are truly excited to see how this partnership can impact the logistics industry and solve critical challenges over the next decade and beyond.

Waymo Via has been very active working with freight forwarding and logistics service providers on similar efforts. In February, it announced a partnership with CH Robinson focused on mutual exploration of the practical application of self-driving technology in logistics and supply chains. And in June 2021, he announced a partnership with JB Hunt for an initiative focused on an intra-Texas freight test movement for a major JB Hunt shipper customer. Hunt officials said the test will use Waymo Via, the company’s Class 8 autonomous trucking unit powered by the Waymo driver and move freight between its client’s Texas locations in Houston and Fort Worth on the ‘Interstate 45.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics management, Modern material handlingand Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight forwarding and material handling industries on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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