- Waymo's autonomous trucks will be deployed at scale on Uber Freight's platform under a long-term strategic partnership, the companies announced Tuesday.
- Carriers that buy and operate trucks equipped with Waymo Driver technology will be able to seamlessly deploy them on digital brokerage Uber Freight through "a deep product integration," according to a news release. This will allow for a hybrid network "where human drivers and autonomous trucks can collaborate effortlessly."
- Live loads from trucking and delivery service Waymo Via are expected to be on the platform in the coming 12 months, per a spokesperson. Waymo Via also plans "to reserve billions of miles of its goods-only capacity for the Uber Freight network" as part of the agreement, according to the release.
Uber Freight and Waymo see a future in which autonomous trucks tackle long-haul driving while human drivers focus on short-haul jobs, a trend already playing out across the industry. The new partnership unlocks "really interesting opportunities" for Waymo to scale autonomous driving technology, said Boris Sofman, head of engineering for trucking at Waymo Via, in a statement.
“By combining the Waymo Via solution with the Uber Freight platform, we’ll be able to apply proven marketplace technology to help carriers dynamically deploy the Waymo Driver where it’s most valuable and most capable," Sofman said.
Waymo, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, has established a variety of partnerships for its commercial transportation offering since it began Class 8 tractor testing in 2017, including with Daimler Trucks North America, J.B. Hunt and UPS. It has also partnered with C.H. Robinson to bring AV technology to the broker's Navisphere logistics platform. But the capabilities of Uber Freight's network is crucial for the advancement of autonomous trucks, said Lior Ron, head of Uber Freight, in a statement.
“We are uniquely positioned to be the preferred network for autonomous trucks, with the scale and the marketplace expertise to deploy autonomous trucks in a way that benefits the entire industry," Ron said.
Uber Freight has more than 130,000 carriers in its network and includes LG and Nestlé among its thousands of shipper customers. Its revenue saw a more than fivefold increase YoY in Q1, fueling its first profitable quarter on an adjusted EBITDA basis. Uber in its quarterly report attributed the revenue surge to its acquisition of transportation management provider Transplace in 2021.