Technology

Uber Acquires Autonomous Truck Startup Otto

Uber Acquires Autonomous Truck Startup Otto
Danny Gill

Uber is set to acquire Otto, a startup that’s been working on developing self-driving trucks. Uber is in the midst of expanding its own fast-growing autonomous division.

Anthony Levandowski, Otto’s co-founder, is a former Google employee who has been working on autonomous driving for years, and he will now be in charge of Uber’s entire self-driving division. One of Otto’s goals is to turn commercial trucks into self-driving freight haulers. Instead of building its own self-driving trucks, the company is looking to build hardware kits for existing truck models.

The eventual goal for this technology is to implement it into a cargo service for long-haul trucking. It will be designed to work with Uber’s current intracity delivery services. Uber has made no announcement if it plans to compete with the larger integrators, but it’s easy to see how that sort of program could complement the company’s other offerings.

Travis Kalanick, CEO and Co-Founder of Uber, said they will work on self-driving technology across three sectors: personal transportation, delivery, and trucking, leveraging both its ongoing robotics research. He also reiterated the safety aspects of autonomous driving. “In the US, traffic accidents are a leading cause of death for people under 25,” Kalanick said, “This is a tragedy that self-driving technology can help solve.”

 

Technology
Danny Gill

Danny is currently a Contributing Writer for Airfreight Logistics and Logistics Manager (LM) and is quite the foodie. He’s always on the hunt for new and exciting dishes to sample, and is never one to back down from a spicy challenge. His travels have taken him around the world, and he’s been able to experience many different cultures (and food).

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One of the world’s biggest logistics companies, Kuwait headquartered Agility, recently announced a major new investment of $100 million over three years to develop and launch Shipa.com. The new digital platform will allow businesses, entrepreneurs and consumers to manage their freight, e-commerce, and urban deliveries online. Chairwoman for Agility, Henadi Al-Saleh said, “Shipa.com makes life easier through technology, whether you are a small business running your supply chain with a few clicks, or a consumer getting your shopping delivered with a few taps on your phone, Shipa.com makes logistics convenient, jargon-free, trackable, accountable and accessible.” Shipa.com will provide the following services: Shipa Freight that will allow small businesses to get instant and transparent freight quotes along with the ability to book, pay and track ocean and air shipments around the world on any mobile or another digital device. Shipa E-commerce enables online merchant’s access to the world’s most complex and fastest growing e-commerce networks. The service will integrate freight, fulfilment, delivery and returns solutions throughout the Arabian Gulf, along with additional reach in Africa and Europe planned for the future. Shipa Delivery will provide businesses and consumers with on-demand same-day, next-day or cross-border delivery across the whole region of Arabian Gulf. Al-Saleh added, “Logistics is the backbone of commerce. But it’s complex, and that complexity is disproportionately difficult for small businesses to navigate. Small businesses often lack access to the logistics resources, tools and solutions that larger businesses have,” “No wonder then, that we interviewed 800 small and medium-sized businesses around the world, we found that 78% wanted to see their logistics move online. Shipa helps close that gap, empowering small businesses to take advantage of the opportunities being created by the global digital economy.” Considered by Al-Saleh as the innovation arm of Agility, Shipa.com will hasten the introduction of technology, development of new digital products. Al-Saleh concluded, “Shipa.com is the marriage of Agility’s logistics expertise and resources and the digital-first capabilities of the Shipa platform. It offers enormous value for our customers and brings new value to our company.”

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