Uber to roll out self driving trucks

According to reports in the Daily Mail, global delivery and taxi company Uber is set to begin making deliveries to warehouses and shops using self driving trucks from 2017.

Uber recently acquired self driving truck startup Otto in a deal rumoured to be in the region of US $680 million and is plotting entry into the US long haul trucking business with a view to establishing itself as a freigt hauler and technology partner for the industry.

Otto apparently plans to expand its fleet of lorries from six to 15, and has forged partnerships with independent truckers according to the Daily Mail.

Beginning in 2017, Otto branded lorries and others that are equipped with Otto technology will begin hauling freight bound for warehouses and stores.

Uber has started pitching services to shippers, independent drivers, and truck fleets. The services will go far beyond Otto’s originally stated aims of outfitting existing trucks with self driving technology.

Uber has already started pitching services to shippers, truck fleets and independent drivers, and the services go well beyond Otto’s initially stated goal of outfitting trucks with self-driving technology. In addition the company also plans to compete with brokers who connect truck fleets and shippers.

While fully autonomous trucks remain years away, and there is a UN Convention banning driverless vehicles from the world’s roads, Otto’s vehicles will be manned with a driver and an engineer.

The Uber / Otto system includes a number of other technologies that nvolve navigation, mapping and tracking that can be deployed while work continues on self driving systems.

Uber aims to ultimately transform the competitive and fragmented $700 billion-a-year trucking industry, which is notorious for low margins. 
 
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