Uber isn’t just about picking people up for a nighttime out or helping with commutes to work.
The ride-hailing monster is also a trucking business. The same technology( a smartphone and algorithms) that help connect commuters with drivers also can help connect truckers with routes.
Uber’s trucking business, which launched in Texas in May, has expanded to California, Arizona, the Chicago-Midwest region, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, Uber announced Thursday. Uber also announced its app is now time proactively propose roads to truckers.
“The app will now automatically learn drivers preferences based on their past loads, their place, their home base, and more. When a new load is available that matches these preferences, the app will notify the motorist so they dont miss out, ” reads a blog post on the announcement.
Here’s how the app works for truckers 😛 TAGEND
Uber did not disclose how many trucking roads it has helped complete in so far, but Bill Driegert, administrator of Uber Freight, did tell USA Today in an interview that since launching trucking in Texas in January they have “seen a tenfold increased number of loading volumes.”
The trucking business is an $800 billion-per-year industry that Uber is hoping to get a piece of. It’s an important part of their plan, particularly as the company have continued struggle to overcome the past eight months of scandals that include most of its executive leadership including its CEO being forced to quit( some for sexual harassment allegations) and a current trial over stealing knowledge from Google’s self-driving car division.
For Uber, the trucking business furnishes a new revenue stream other than consumer journeys. It’s already decided to close off some of its business, such as its operations in Chinaand its bike messenger service UberRush.
But Uber isn’t the only tech corporation trying to modernize the trucking industry. Convoy, a business based in Seattle, launched its own trucking app in 2015. It closed a $62 million fund round last month. Though, that’s far less than the more-than $15 billion Uber has raised in equity and indebtednes financing.
Uber is also betting on a future without truckers, just like it is without motorists( or at least a lot less of them ). Uber has a divide building self-driving trucks, formerly named Otto after the startup it acquired in 2016.