Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick made a stop in Pittsburgh, where he snapped the below photo of a very large truck with the words “Uber Freight” on its side, and posted it onto his Twitter account.
In 2016, Uber acquired the self-driving truck startup Otto for $650 million, with plans to launch a long-haul trucking initiative. Now the acquisition is in the midst of a legal dispute with the self-driving car company Waymo—formerly the Google self-driving car project, which claims that Otto is simply a shell company meant to deliver stolen technology by engineer Anthony Levandowski—an ex Google employee, who founded the startup.
One of Otto’s self-driving trucks delivered its first shipment last October, 50,000 cans of beer were transported from Loveland, Colorado, to Colorado Springs, but no more shipments have been executed since.
Kalanick stated in an interview with Business Insider that Uber had always intended to get into trucking, and that the nuances of the business are challenging, interesting, and exciting to him.
Uber Freight was supposed to operate like Uber’s app, bringing together a shipper with a truck, but it seems that now the company plans on including its own fleet of semis, which will bring cost way up, when fuel, maintenance and insurance are factored into the equation.
It should be interesting to see how Uber Freight evolves from here. Will an army of self-driving trucks start appearing cross-country, or will its feud with Waymo stunt its growth?