After launching Uber Freight in May, the ride-hailing giant is now expanding its trucking service from Texas to Arizona, California, Georgia, South Carolina, Chicago and North Carolina, where it will now offer bookings for loads that shipping companies want to haul. Uber Freight works to match independent carriers with shipping companies, essentially shortening the time it takes to find and book freights. In terms of payment, the solution guarantees its drivers to be paid within seven days.
It makes sense for Uber Freight to expand into more regions, especially in light of its increasing competition with Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car division which was recently reported to be testing a self-driving truck. According to a previous report, the test was in the very early stage, with Waymo initially having the truck manually operated by a human driver. That test was a part of a broader effort to gather data before ultimately integrating autonomous hardware and software into Waymo's vehicles. In June, Waymo was spotted operating a self-driving truck on the road, specifically a heavy-duty Peterbilt 579 model with various modules installed on its roof alongside a LiDAR system with ultrasonic sensors flanking it on all four sides. The truck was seemingly equipped with the same technology used to enable Waymo's Chrysler Pacifica minivans. But it is not just Waymo that has been testing self-driving trucks, as Uber has also been rumored to be conducting similar experiments of its own, though details about that effort remain scarce at this point.
In addition to its market expansion, Uber Freight has also added a few more features to the service that allow the driver to customize the app and get recommendations based on the way they use the tool. For example, Uber Freight will now keep track of the routes a driver has previously taken in order to provide suggestions for available roads. The new feature will additionally show freights within the local area to offer drivers an easier way to conduct business with shipment firms. The service will also start offering new packs of loads depending on route length in the coming weeks, Uber said, adding that its platform will be ennobled with more functionalities in the near future.