Amazon Looking to Develop Uber-Like App for Future Shippments?; Self-Driving Trucks Next Thing for Trucking Inustry?
Recently, Amazon just made it's first successful drone shipment in Cambridge, UK -- but the e-commerce giant has no plans of stopping there: Amazon plans to set-up an Uber-like app that will help match shipments with available trucks.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon may be looking to acquire or build a mobile application that will match available trucks with shipments as part of its bid to become a global freight broker and to compete with companies in the $150 million industry. Last year, Amazon announced that it plans to launch it's own trucking fleet to help move their inventory between Amazon facilities, which posed concerns on the trucking industry.
— Autonomous Law (@SafeSelfDrive) December 19, 2016
Analysts see Amazon's move as the next step for the e-commerce giant towards becoming a logistics provider. Amazon also announced this year that it has plans to lease 40 new cargo jets and arranging ocean-cargo shipments, with Amazon reaching out to several freight-services technology companies in May and inquiring about offerings.
Carrier companies like FedEx and UPS have already made use of technology to improve services, like using mobile apps to make transportation easier as well as keeping track of shipments real-time while packages are on delivery. Logistics companies are also spending millions on upgrading their technology for ease of service.
While Logistics companies are aiming to improve their services through mobile technology and real-time tracking, Uber has plans of changing the playing field of the trucking industry entirely. The Wired reported that Uber's self-driving truck just made it's first successful delivery.
According to the Wired's report, the first delivery of Uber's self-driving truck was 50,000 cans of Budweiser from a brewery in Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. the 18-wheeler truck was equipped with $300,000 worth of hardware and self-driving tech from San Francisco startup "Otto" which Uber acquired over the summer for around $680 million.
For now, the self-drive system on trucks work on the highway, where it won't be bothered by pedestrians and cramped city streets. So there will still be a need for human drivers behind the wheel.