Uber Freight and Waymo Via have announced a new long-term strategic partnership that will connect their technologies and deploy autonomous trucks on the Uber Freight network. The partnership combines Waymo’s experiences in autonomous driving technology with the scale and marketplace technology of Uber Freight’s network.

The agreement between the two firms includes a deep product integration and long-term collaboration roadmap. Within this roadmap, they aim to develop the tools and infrastructure to facilitate the successful deployment of autonomous trucks for Uber Freight’s shipper and carrier customers. Likewise, carriers that purchase trucks equipped with the Waymo Driver will be able to opt-in to Uber Freight’s marketplace through applications that enable them to deploy their autonomous assets on Uber Freight’s network.

These apps aim to streamline several parts of the trucking user experience – including onboarding, load booking and execution, trailer transfers, and payment. At the same time, they also allow for enhanced synergy between human drivers and autonomous trucks, where both can collaborate in a hybrid network to move freight. Both Uber Freight and Waymo Via envision a future where autonomous trucks handle the long-haul portion of driving and drivers shift into short-haul jobs that enhance their quality of life. The companies will further explore what the transfer hub model could look like with Powerloop, Uber Freight’s universal trailer pool program, for efficient transfers between AV trucks and human drivers, streamlining operations between the first, middle and final mile.

Within the long-term agreement, Waymo Via intends to reserve billions of miles of its goods-only capacity for the Uber Freight network. For shippers, the scale and depth of this partnership will allow Uber Freight and Transplace to integrate autonomy into shipper networks. These companies will also advise on how best to adjust their supply-chain strategies for a future where autonomously-driven trucks and human-driven trucks operate side by side.

Ultimately, the hybrid freight model envisioned by Uber Freight and Waymo Via aims to unlock capacity for shippers, increase fuel efficiency, provide carriers with the opportunity to scale their businesses, and streamline global supply chains.