Delivery may displace ride-hail as the big goal for self-driving R&D. Uber reported a 35 percent year-on-year decline in ride-hail numbers in its 2Q2020 earnings, as delivery volumes surged worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated adoption of online shopping. In this context, a strategic partnership between Waymo and Daimler to integrate Waymo self-driving techology into the truckmaker's Frieghtliner Cascadia trucks sold in the US in coming years is illuminating as it comes not long after the truckmaker's abandonment of its own platooning technology efforts. Broadly this indicates that collapsing demand for ride-hail is pushing AV innovation towards delivery
Long-term shifts to home-based work also point towards a potential reduction in the overall future growth of the ride-hail market. All of this points towards a shift in R&D and vehicle development efforts from passenger to freight.