A self-driving tractor trailer equipped with 50,000 cans of Budweiser made its first delivery in Colorado in late October.
The truck drove 120 miles on Interstate 25 in Colorado from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. The successful drive used $30,000 of hardware and software, a police escort and a "just in case" truck driver stowed in the sleeper cab of the rig.
The San Francisco startup Otto, which was recently acquired by Uber, specializes in autonomous trucks and teamed up with beer monopoly AB InBev for the stunt. This delivery was the first time a driverless car was used for a commercial shipment.
We're sure InBev’s target audience, which likely makes up a large percentage of its employees, is ecstatic over the possibility of losing their jobs to robotic trucks. The trucking industry employed 1.5 million people in September alone and currently has a shortage in its workforce.
AB InBev says can save up to $50 million a year in the U.S. if this technology is deployed. The reduced costs would come from saving money on fuel and being able to complete more deliveries. Drivers would still need to ride along if the current Otto system is deployed because—for now—the technology only works on highways.
Photo via Flickr user Moto@Club4AG
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