Uber announced that Lior Ron is returning to the company and will run the Uber Freight division.
Ron co-founded Otto with Anthony Levandowski, the self-driving, start-up company Uber purchased two years ago. Both executives left the company long before Uber said less than two weeks ago it had decided to halt efforts to develop autonomous trucks to concentrate on the passenger car segment.
Uber Freight uses a smart phone app that makes it possible for truckers to accept loads in a similar manner as the original ride-hauling Uber app. It is available throughout the continental United States.
In a separate announcement, Ryder System said it is now using Uber Central to transport drivers and technicians to and from Ryder and customer locations, resulting in less downtime.
“With Uber Central, we’re able to improve routing and planning for our transfer drivers, save on fuel costs, and increase shop productivity. This exciting platform enhances our commercial transportation services and creates an added convenience for our customers,” said Rich Mohr, vice president and global product manager of rental pperations for Ryder.
Uber launched Uber Central in 2017, which allows organizations to request, manage, and pay monthly for rides for others at scale. Ryder customers who receive rides do not need to have an Uber account or the app on their phones to use the service, as Ryder coordinates the details via the Uber Central web portal.