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Uber for trucks is here. Here’s how it will work.

It’s not about self-driving just yet.

Uber Freight

Uber, known for its on-demand transportation services, today launched its newest app: A trucking dispatch service called Uber Freight.

It works pretty much the same as Uber for everyday riders and drivers, in this case matching commercial shippers with truck drivers looking for a job. Freight rides can be booked several weeks in advance or on the same day.

Uber Freight

While independent truck drivers typically have to negotiate the fare with the shippers, the price under Uber Freight is predetermined and guaranteed. Once a driver gets a shipment to where it needs to be, the payment begins processing and a driver will be paid within seven days.

We’ve asked Uber how the pricing works and here’s what a spokesperson had to say:

“Distance is certainly one of the strongest factors that determines our prices, as well as cargo type, location and others. Like Uber ridesharing, we take into account overall marketplace dynamics to surge prices overtime to match supply and demand.”

There will also be surge pricing, according to the spokesperson.

It’s not exactly a revolutionary service. Instead, it does what Uber’s original service did for the private black car industry: Make an existing marketplace more convenient for riders and drivers. In fact, there are a number of other competitors out there, including Convo, which is backed by Greylock Partners and has raised $18.5 million.

Typically, drivers have to dedicate time to shopping around for loads to ship. Now — if the company is able to sign up enough shippers — drivers will be fed a series of job options straight to their phone. Unlike the Uber service everyday people use, truck drivers can swipe through a marketplace of loads to decide which one he or she wants to book, instead of being automatically matched.

But Uber for trucks does have some potentially long-term negative implications for drivers.

Uber Freight was created after the company acquired self-driving trucking company Otto, which has set a foundation to create driverless trucks.

The idea is to create a shipping network and generate revenue from the truck dispatching business today, which will also give Uber the data and the network to help it create a driverless truck business in the future. If all goes well, it’ll look a lot like the progression from Uber drivers to Uber driverless cars — perhaps with fewer speed bumps.

We hope to empower a community of carriers by providing upfront, transparent pricing that’s guaranteed, fast payment,...

Posted by Uber Freight on Thursday, May 18, 2017

The company is mostly doing shipments out of Texas right now, according to the site.

“You can filter loads by location and date to find the best load for you,” the site reads. “We’re continuing to add freight to our app every day, so if you don’t see one that fits, check back soon!”

According to the site, Uber has exclusive contracts with the shippers it works with. Unclear, however, is how many shippers and drivers the company has already signed up.

We’ve asked Uber for more information and we’ll update when we hear back.


This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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