Vroom layoffs. Go-Jek mulls IPO. A CBI mobility event.
Trucking stole the show this week, as Uber celebrated its first ~300-mile autonomous trucking runs in Arizona. The company’s trucks will operate on Uber’s Freight app and network, using a transfer hub model of autonomous highway driving with handoff to human-driven short-haul trucks on either end.
Lest Uber hog the spotlight, Waymo also officially unveiled its own trucking pilot, using self-driving trucks to haul Google data center freight in Atlanta. (In January Waymo announced it would begin testing its cars in Atlanta; its truck prototypes have been spotted in California since last summer).
Tesla is also dogfooding its new trucking tech, with the electric Semi kicking off its first cargo runs to carry battery packs from Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory to its California plant.
On the startup side, autonomous trucking company Starsky Robotics announced its Series A raise, and also recently completed its own 7-mile run in Florida.
Though much shorter than Uber’s trip, Starsky’s run featured a completely driverless cab. The feat was enabled not by Florida’s AV-friendly regulations but also Starsky’s model, which involves autonomous highway driving and drivers based in remote “call centers” taking over for complex situations.