Uber Vows to Put Self-Driving Otto Trucks on the Road by 2017

Will Uber succeed in disrupting the trucking industry?

10. 16. 16 by Jelor Gallego
Otto
Image by Otto

Uber has evolved from a simple ride-hailing app into a business that wants to revolutionize the way we get around. The San Francisco-based company is already shaking up the market with autonomous vehicles and its food delivery service UberEats.

Uber wants to shake up another industry: trucking. Uber has purchased self-driving truck startup Otto to enter the long-haul freight business and put their trucks on the road by 2017.

Uber just bought Otto this summer for $680 million. And while their dreams of autonomous trucking are decades away, Uber and Otto wants to start using the mapping, tracking, and hailing experience Uber has for autonomous big rigs.

Otto co-founder Lior Ron argues Uber’s tracking technologies could make a big difference in the inefficient trucking industry.

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“In Uber, you press a button and an Uber shows up after three minutes,” Ron said, according to Reuters. “In freight … the golden standard is that it takes (the broker) five hours of phone calls to find your truck. That’s how efficient the industry is today.”

Uber is currently persuading shippers, truck fleets, and independent drivers to utilize its services so it can cut into the market of traditional freight brokers. But with its negative backlash from traditional taxi companies, it’ll be interesting to see if Uber can disrupt the trucking industry.


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