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Uber eyes freight shipping as next market

Uber continues to grow, seeking new ways to make money and rely less on people. After a rocky start to the year which saw the company lose $1.2 billion, Uber continues its push to utilize driverless technology in its vehicles - this time in freight trucks.

Otto, Uber's acquired truck startup company, is in the midst of a serious push to build out a shipping service. With the help of freight trucking companies, some drivers and the driverless technology Uber has been working with as of late, Otto intends to greatly expand Uber's reach in the driving industry. Though Otto is expected to up its fleet of truck to 15, the company is also planning to partner with independent truck drivers to ramp up its shipping capabilities.

Freight shipping is a $700 billion/year industry and is said to be a mess. Uber's foray into this industry has potential to steal away a lot of business from other companies and improve profits in a known low-margin industry. Though a piece of the $700 billion pie is incentive enough, Uber is also interested in enhancing its internal mapping service that the company is building and will eventually rely on instead of 3rd party services like Google Maps.

Driverless trucks are still at least a few years out from being implemented, so don't expect to be passing any Uber trucks on the freeway anytime soon, unless you come across a rare testing vehicle.

Source: Reuters

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