March 7, 2018

Uber Freight and the Rise of Autonomous Trucking

Uber Freight

Uber Freight

How the World’s #1 Rideshare App is Utilizing Self-Driving Trucks

Roughly 15.5 million trucks in operation in the United States. 2 million of these trucks are tractor trailers and are operated by nearly 3.5 million truck drivers. At the helm of one of America’s most iconic occupations, the trucking industry literally moves our country. Without it, our economy would screech to a halt. According to the American Trucking Association, it is the lifeblood of the US economy, with over 70% of all freight tonnage being moved by truck. “Simply – without trucks, America stops.” In 2018, the face of this critical industry is changing. With the rise of autonomous or self-driving trucks and through apps like Uber Freight, truckers and haulers are more connected than ever.

Gamechanger – Uber Freight

By now we’re all familiar with Uber – the peer-to-peer, location-based, on-demand ridesharing app that eclipsed the taxi industry and now thrives in over 760 cities and 84 countries worldwide. Uber Freight is a similar mobile app that matches freight carriers and shippers from around the country with the ease of a button. From your cell phone, instantly book a load, 24/7 whenever you need a load hauled and enjoy upfront pricing with no hidden fees. With rapid payment within 7 days, fee-free, knowing exactly how much a load costs and how much a driver will be paid is good for all parties. The days of negotiating with brokers are over with easy booking and easy payment. What you see is what you get with your initial upfront quote. Your load is handled and good to go with Uber Freight’s instant confirmation. 

The Rise of Autonomous Trucking

This is all good news for freight haulers and consumers alike, but with the rise of autonomous, self-driving vehicles, the trucking industry is inching its way toward an even more sci-fi future. Uber Freight has begun making long-haul, cross-country deliveries in Arizona using self-driving trucks, which despite being autonomous still require the hands-on presence of a human driver behind the wheel as a “backstop.”  Here’s how it works, and a video that perfectly illustrates the transfer potential of this neo-hauling technology:

  1. Shippers schedule deliveries using the Uber Freight mobile app
  2. A conventional truck and driver coordinate to pick up the load at a transfer station
  3. The load is then delivered to a transfer hub, where the goods are transferred to a self-driving truck, which long-haul transports them via highway
  4. When the self-driving truck gets close to the drop off destination, a regular, conventional truck and driver are coordinated to pick up the goods from the transfer station hub and deliver them the rest of the way

The value of this type of coordination allows for the self-driving truck to operate where it is most effective – on the open highway. Conventional truckers handle the more domestic routes in townand in urban centers that require more hands-on driving.

The Combined Benefits

With the coordination potential of Uber Freight combined with the long-haul capabilities of autonomous trucks, Uber envisions a future where truck drivers and trucking companies can smartly and efficiently transport America’s goods and services. The commercialization of autonomous trucks is only going to increase as the technology expands, and for an industry as crucial to the American economy as trucking, this is an exciting new frontier.

Contact an SCL Consultant Today

In a wide range of industrial sectors, we’re here to protect and optimize the machines that keep our country moving, and we pride ourselves on providing superior logistics and solutions, extensive product and industry knowledge and total performance satisfaction for our customers. No matter where the future of the automotive industry is headed, we will be there to deliver what you need to keep you in motion.  For information on how we can assist you in choosing the optimal products for your vehicle at a competitive price, contact an SCL consultant today.