Today Otto announced that one of their driverless trucks had completed a 120 mile beer run — making it the world’s first commercial delivery by an autonomous truck.
Uber-owned truck maker Otto teamed up with Budweiser and transportation officials in Colorado to make the historic beer run happen on October 20.
The truck was loaded up with 50,000 cans of Bud and began its journey in Fort Collins, making the 120 mile trek along I-25 to Colorado Springs.
Otto says that a professional truck driver was on hand to monitor the process from the sleeper berth, but that the driver’s seat was completely empty for the entire 120 mile journey: “By using cameras, radar, and lidar sensors mounted on the vehicle to “see” the road, Otto’s system controlled the acceleration, braking, and steering of the truck to carry the beer exit-to-exit without any human intervention.”
Though the driverless beer run was largely symbolic, Otto’s founders say that a live delivery was the next step in advancing autonomous driving technology: “We’ve tested with trailers, of course, but there’s nothing like actually doing the real thing, end to end.”
You can see video of the “driverless” Budweiser delivery below.