Automobiles

Published on February 17th, 2017 | by Guest

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How will we have self-driving trucks? Thanks to Uber very soon

A year or two before if somebody had me asked me to bet on the chances of having a self-driving truck in the very near future I would not have taken that bet but thanks to Uber and OTTO; that bet does not sound outlandish anymore. But even so can Uber really pull off something so amazing as this? Let’s hear it out from the CEO of Uber himself, Travis Kalanick:

“It starts with understanding that the world is going to go self-driving and autonomous,” he said in an exclusive Business Insider interview.

“So if that’s happening, what would happen if we weren’t a part of that future? If we weren’t part of the autonomy thing? Then the future passes us by basically, in a very expeditious and efficient way.” He continued.

But hey, we all know Kalanick, he doesn’t just talk, he takes actions right away following which recently Uber took a leap into the future and announced it’s free self-driving rides for Pittsburgh riders; it will work like a usual ride request but instead of a simple car with an Uber driver at your door you will find two engineers and a self-driving car, how cool is that? Uber has also stepped into trucking business by cutting off a deal with OTTO Self-driving Truck as confirmed by Uber CEO on its official website. As challenging this task might seem, Uber has the guts to pull this off, courtesy its “ex-Googlers who already mastered this technology.” Levandowski, responsible for pushing Google’s self-driving project will be head of operations of self-driving cars and trucks operations considering that Uber is opening two more offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco for OTTO trucks.

How will this benefit Uber?

There might be some questions popping in your head regarding the use of self-driving trucks and what benefits will we be having by saving time on truck routes? Well, we are living in a world where everyone wants to have anything they need on the push of a button, right? And trucks are behind them making it possible one consignment at a time, delivering them from one part of the country to the other. OTTO trucks on course with Uber logo on it will not only help save time on deliveries but also benefit them by saving the fee of a driver. Moreover, think about the lives that will be saved with Uber’s self-driving trucks considering 1.25 million global crashes a year as most of them are caused by human error. In the U.S. alone it is estimated that 94% of the accidents stem from human error. Uber promises on giving its customers improved driver safety and eventually a more reliable service. The race for driverless vehicles is certainly on the rise and the future is right here right now.

Why Uber needs to have self-driving trucks?

Several experts on transportation perceive driverless taxicabs as an existential threat to Uber’s basic company motto. Look at it like this: Companies like Tesla, GM and Ford are placing their bets on self-directed car services. Now, since there is no driver needed for the service it will decrease the cost of each ride and they will be able to offer it at lesser rates than traditional cabs or Uber cabs. And ask yourself: Will you drive in a cheap yet cool self-driving cab or the old-style expensive taxi service with a driver? The answer is obvious. Thus justifying the $300 million dollars deal between Uber and Volvo to develop Autonomous Cars.

Therefore, seeing self-driving trucks on the road very soon and thanking Uber for this, seems reasonable.

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