Waymo Via and Uber Freight team up for the long haul – Vidak For Congress

Waymo Via and Uber Freight team up for the long haul – Vidak For Congress 1

Waymo Via, the delivery division of Alphabet’s self-driving unit, has entered into a long-term strategic partnership with Uber Freight, Uber’s logistics spin-out. As part of the agreement, Waymo commits to reserving billions of miles of its driverless capacity for the Uber Freight network.

Over the past year, Waymo Via has forged other long-term alliances with major logistics companies such as CH Robinson and JB Hunt. As Waymo pursues commercialization, this partnership provides the company with an opportunity to reach Uber Freight’s more than 130,000 carriers.

The multi-year collaboration will take place in phases. Phase one, which Waymo says should take place within the year, means Waymo will place Via its test suite of Peterbilt trucks, retrofitted with the Waymo Driver, on Uber Freight’s network. In this pilot scenario, Waymo would act as a carrier and list its autonomous trucks as assets for shippers in Uber’s market.

Aurora Innovation, a Waymo Via competitor in which Uber has a stake following the sale of Aurora’s own self-driving unit, Uber ATG, is currently conducting a similar pilot with Uber Freight in Texas.

Ultimately, Waymo is pursuing a driver-as-a-service (DaaS) approach, where carriers will purchase Daimler trucks driven by the Waymo Driver. During the second phase of Waymo’s partnership with Uber, carriers operating Waymo Driver-equipped trucks will be able to seamlessly connect to the Uber Freight network, which the companies say will help carriers scale their business.

“This is a deep integration between our products, where we will develop a joint product roadmap to build tools and infrastructure specific to the successful deployment of autonomous trucks on the Uber Freight network, such as an integration that allows carriers to seamlessly manage their freight together. can coordinate and implement. loads with Waymo Driver-compatible trucks on the Uber Freight network,” a spokesperson for Waymo Via said in a statement shared with Vidak For Congress.

The spokesperson also said that Uber Freight and Waymo Via are joining a hybrid freight model that still relies on human-powered trucks, but uses an autonomous solution to relieve some of the pressure on an industry struggling with truck driver shortages. Reduce.

“Uber Freight’s extensive, efficient and reliable digital network is essential to make autonomous trucks a reality,” Lior Ron, head of Uber Freight, said in a statement. “We are uniquely positioned to be the network of choice for autonomous trucks, with the scale and market knowledge to deploy autonomous trucks in a way that benefits the entire industry.”

Waymo hasn’t disclosed how many test vehicles it would use during the initial pilot, but in both the short and long term, Waymo Driver trucks will begin driving on Interstate 95 in Texas between Dallas and Fort Worth before scaling out, according to a Waymo spokesperson. . Waymo hasn’t provided a timeline for when it plans to begin or scale its DaaS approach beyond its original Texas autonomous lane.

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