Future Of Transportation : Uber Self-Driving Truck Packed With Budweiser Makes First Delivery in Colorado

A new history was made in transportation last week when a self-driving truck carrying full-load of Budweiser beer drove to downtown Colorado.  Uber Technologies Inc. and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV teamed up on the delivery, which they said is the first time a self-driving truck had been used to make a commercial shipment.

While Google and other tech companies have been carrying out tests with their self-driving cars, Uber seems to have quietly gotten down to businesses and made the smart delivery of beers within schedule. The 18-wheeler self-driving truck was followed by a police cruiser, while the driver hung around in the sleeper cab at the back of the pilot seat. The companies said that the self-driving truck was made by Otto, the self-driving vehicle group that Uber acquired in July 2016.

“We wanted to show that the basic building blocks of the technology are here; we have the capability of doing that on a highway,” said Lior Ron, the president and co-founder of Uber’s Otto unit. “We are still in the development stages, iterating on the hardware and software.”

AB InBev which makes Budweiser beers said it could save $50 million a year in the U.S. if it deploys such self-driving trucks instead of driven ones by saving from reduced fuel costs and a more frequent delivery schedule.

Otto spent two weeks carefully mapping the road to make sure the technology could handle it. Source: Aether Films
Uber’s self-driving truck delivery was a publicity stunt to prove the viability of Otto which it has acquired.