Anheuser-Busch has found a use for the self-driving truck.
The brewery just shipped 52,000 cans of Budweiser on a self-driving truck, which drove itself on I-25 from Fort Collins through Denver and onto Colorado Springs.
Anheuser-Busch says this is the first time in history that a self-driving vehicle has shipped commercial cargo, making it a landmark achievement for self-driving technology.
The driver was out of the driver’s seat during the entire 120-mle stretch of highway. He monitored the self-driving system from the sleeper berth in the back.
With cameras, radar and lidar sensors mounted on the vehicle to ‘see’ the road, the system from San Francisco startup Otto controlled the acceleration, braking and steering of the truck to carry the beer exit-to-exit without any human intervention.
The driver still does the loading, unloading and city driving parts of the trip.
Otto was purchased by Uber a few months ago for about $680 million.
“We admire Otto’s vision that will shape the future of self-driving transportation,” said James Sembrot, senior director, logistics strategy at Anheuser-Busch. “As we continue to partner with long-haul carriers to ship our beers, we hope to see this technology widely deployed across our highways to improve safety for all road users.”
Gotta love that with all this technology, the video shows that while the truck drove itself, the attending driver sat in the back and read what looks like a traditional, paper magazine.