Uber recently spun off its Uber Freight trucking service into a separate company, and now it's giving the Uber Freight app an overhaul. Uber believes trucking could be a major source of future business, and is investing heavily in the business.
Like any other app redesign, Uber wanted to emphasize usability. To do that, it had to get the app into the hands of more truckers and solicit feedback, Adam Schwabe, Uber Freight's senior product designer, said in an interview with TechCrunch. So the company headed out to truck shows to show the app to potential users.
Uber Freight connects shipments with drivers willing to haul them anywhere in the continental United States. Much like Uber's core ride-hailing service, drivers use the app to search for and schedule trips. The upgrades to the app are supposed to make this easier, and include a new search bar that pre-loads all of the driver's preferences when looking for new shipments.
Other changes include a date selector, which lets drivers and shippers choose a specific date for pickup with one tap, and a system for sorting jobs based on the factors most important to the driver, according to TechCrunch. These features will begin rolling out in the coming weeks, the website reported. Uber Freight will also add an updated map-view tool, which lets drivers search for shipments based on their location on a map, in 2019.
Uber Freight launched in 2017 in Texas, and quickly spread operations across the continental U.S. Uber recently announced that it will double its investment in Uber Freight and brought in Lior Ron to run the company. Ron and Anthony Levandowski founded autonomous-driving tech startup Otto, which was bought by Uber in 2016 and touched off a legal battle with Waymo that Uber settled for $245 million. When it comes to trucks, Uber has moved away from autonomous driving tech and plans to focus on conventional trucking going forward.