It’s the first time in history that beer was delivered by a self-driving truck. Last Thursday 45,000 cans of Budweiserbeer were delivered from Fort Collins, Colorado, to Colorado Springs. The two-hour journey with 120 highway miles (193 km) at an average speed of 55mph (89 kph) was monitored by a driver from the sleeper berth. Only for driving on and off the highway ramp the driver took the steering wheel.
The pilot project was done by Otto, the self-driving truck subsidiary of Uber, together with Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch’s senior director of logistics strategy, James Sembrot, and Otto’s co-founder Lior Ron were enthusiastic about the positive outcome of the test. Sembrot is sure that this type of equipment will be a standard feature to all trucks in the foreseeable future.
So far the technology is best suited for long distance transportation on highways rather than busy city centers. In a couple of years the technology will be even further advanced to allow driving in any surrounding without a driver. Current legislation in most states requires that a driver must be present at the vehicle to take over control at any time if required. This limits cost savings for the time being. Experts believe that the break-through will come when enough tests have been successfully completed and drivers are also allowed to sleep in their vehicles during a journey. This would allow to operate trucks 24 hours a day and 6-7 days a week.
Please watch the following video of the test.