In a strategic partnership aimed at advancing autonomous trucking, autonomous trucking startup Waabi and Uber Freight have joined forces. This partnership will see billions of miles of driverless capacity from Waabi’s fleet integrated into the Uber Freight network over the next ten years. The collaboration will commence with commercial pilots using Waabi’s test fleet to transport goods between Dallas and Houston on the Uber Freight network.
Autonomous trucking startup Waabi teams up with Uber Freight in a 10-year strategic partnership. Waabi’s AI-first approach, using a closed-loop simulator, has allowed it to deploy and scale its self-driving technology quickly.
Waabi, which utilizes an AI-first approach, has developed a high-fidelity closed-loop simulator called Waabi World. This simulator allows for virtual testing of self-driving software and real-time teaching of the system. This unique approach has enabled Waabi to deploy and scale its autonomous trucking technology much faster than its competitors, making it an attractive partner for Uber Freight.
A Deep Integration
The partnership between Uber Freight and Waabi goes beyond previous partnerships, such as the one between Uber Freight and Waymo Via. The collaboration involves connecting the software systems of both companies to optimize network operations, reduce empty miles, and enhance sustainability and data benefits. Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, stated that the integration will be more extensive, linking the software systems of both the autonomous trucks and the logistics network intimately.
Removing Friction for Adoption
Waabi and Uber Freight aim to create a “Driver-as-a-Service bundle” that provides carriers with access to the entire autonomous trucking ecosystem. This bundle includes transfer hubs, load matching, roadside assistance, and maintenance. In order to gain a deep understanding of how autonomous vehicles (AVs) will impact future operations, supply chains, and network deployment, the partnership seeks shippers willing to commit to five to ten-year pilots.
While the initial testing will involve one Texas lane between distribution centers, Waabi plans to quickly scale its operations beyond the Houston-Dallas corridor and potentially beyond Texas. Initially, all trucks will have a safety driver present during testing, but the aim is to eventually remove the driver for fully autonomous driving. Uber Freight has hundreds of shippers on a waiting list eager to deploy AV technology, and the partnership with Waabi sets the stage for exponential growth once autonomous driving becomes a reality.
Both Waabi and Uber Freight are playing the long game, with a focus on the future impact of AVs on the freight industry. The partnership between these two companies signals a significant step forward in the advancement of autonomous trucking technology and its integration into the logistics network.