Uber and Waymo Partner to Deploy Self-Driving Trucks at Scale to Revolutionize the Entire Logistics Industry
- Uber and Waymo are partnering to make it easier for shippers and carriers to use autonomous trucks.
- The two companies were once embroiled in lawsuits over self-driving technology but are now partnering to deploy Waymo’s self-driving trucks on Uber Freight.
- Shippers and carriers using Waymo’s tech will have the option to use Uber Freight to find customers.
- The partnership will make self-driving trucks hit the road faster than self-driving cars because trucks are easier to automate.
- The adoption of self-driving trucks promises to revolutionize the traditional freight delivery system and create a new way the logistics industry operates.
Uber, the company we know for ride shares, and Waymo, a company we know for developing self-driving technology, entered into a partnership to deploy self-driving trucks at scale. The partnership brings together the power of Waymo’s autonomous technology with the scale of Uber Freight to unlock the roadmap of implementing self-driving trucks on American roads.
Initially, the two companies were embroiled in a lawsuit over self-driving tech, but the companies announced a plan to deploy Waymo’s self-driving trucks on Uber Freight. Uber Freight is a logistics platform that matches businesses shipping goods with trucks.
The announcement is a significant milestone in implementing autonomous trucks and revolutionizing the logistics industry.
Self-Driving Trucks Might Hit the Road Faster than Cars
Nearly everyone has been anxious about making self-driving vehicles a reality. However, it’s more likely that self-driving trucks will hit the road faster than self-driving cars because trucks are easier to automate.
Implementing self-driving trucks will be faster because many companies want to eliminate the need to pay drivers, drastically reducing the cost of delivering shipments by 75%. As a result, mass adoption of autonomous semi-trailer trucks would likely occur much quicker.
While much of the talk about self-driving vehicles revolves around cars, trucks should be the focal point.
What Will Happen After Mass Adoption of Self-Driving Trucks
Mass adoption of autonomous trucks will revolutionize the entire logistics sector and freight delivery system. Some of the most expected changes include:
1. Increased Delivery Speed
Autonomous trucks will increase the delivery speed. The law forbids drivers from driving for more than 11 consecutive hours without an eight-hour break.
A fully self-driven truck could drive with no breaks. The continuous operation will increase the output of trucking services at very low costs. Drivers will no longer have to push themselves to cover as many miles a day to deliver the shipment quickly.
2. Changes in Truck Stops Across the Country
When self-driving trucks suddenly overtake the freight delivery system, there will be a huge change in all the truck stops across the country. The stops are where the truck drivers pull over to do some laundry, have meals in hotels or restaurants, and go to the gym. The truck stops are the drivers’ home away from home.
Truck stops have grown with the expanding trucking industry across the country for decades. If you have driven over the barren parts of California or any other state, you’ll suddenly see these truck stops pop up out of nowhere. You may wonder why such a place would have a hotel and why it exists in the middle of nowhere, but its purpose is to serve truckers.
When autonomous trucks start to take over the highway, there’s a major risk such truck stops will not exist anymore.
3. Speed-Up The Adoption of Self-Driven Cars
The Uber-Waymo partnership will help speed up the development of self-driving cars. Waymo has been working on autonomous vehicles for years. Their experience will be invaluable to Uber as they look to build their fleet of self-driving cars. The two companies will share data and resources to accelerate the development and adoption of self-driven cars.
The partnership will cause a major shift in Uber’s approach to self-driving cars. Up until now, Uber has largely focused on developing its autonomous driving technology. Partnering with Waymo shows that they’re willing to work with others to bring self-driving cars to market faster.
The partnership is good news for everyone looking forward to seeing self-driving cars on the road soon.
4. Improved Fuel Efficiency
While the average truck manufacturer has significantly improved average fuel efficiency over the years, truck electrification will be one of the greatest fuel innovations in recent years. Autonomous trucks are the next wave in transportation innovation that will forever transform travel patterns.
According to Energy Information Administration, by the year 2050, connected self-driving vehicles will reduce fuel consumption by as much as 18% for trucks and 44% for passenger vehicles.
What’s more, self-driven trucks enjoy the symbiosis with electric vehicles. The two employ wired rather than mechanical driving and braking controls. Manufacturers can eliminate unnecessary weight by eliminating the mechanical mechanism, allowing them to produce more fuel-efficient cars.
5. Job Loss
With all the benefits associated with self-driven trucks, it seems inevitable that over 1.6 million truck drivers in the USA would eventually go out of work. Truck drivers mark 1% of the nation’s workforce without factoring in lost jobs at truck stops, gas stations, and roadside hotels.
Automation of the commercial trucking industry has generated concern about the potential mass layout of drivers. The nation would like to figure out a plan for the job losses resulting from the mass adoption of self-driving trucks.
While truck drivers are typically self-reliant, flexible, and can concentrate for long periods, their relatively low education levels and potential automation in other sectors increase their risk of unemployment for extended periods. Autonomous trucks will put professional truck drivers at risk of excessive hardship because it threatens to disrupt their careers and lives.
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