Uber, the ride-sharing service, and Anheuser-Busch, the beverage conglomerate, joined forces to ship 45,000 cans of Budweiser beer last Thursday in a truck with no driver at the wheel.
Otto, the autonomous truck subsidiary of Uber, employed a vehicle to transport the load from Fort Collins, Co. to Colorado Springs last Thursday, according to Reuters. The 120-mile trek took two hours to complete.
There was a person monitoring the truck from a separated berth, ensuring that the vehicle was working properly. The relatively hands-off supervisor did have to direct the truck on and off highway ramps.
This was apparently the first time an autonomous truck carrying goods was used for profit, Otto’s co-founder, Lior Ron, and Anheuser-Busch’s senior director of logistics strategy, James Sembrot, told Reuters. (RELATED: Distracted Driving Is A Huge Problem, And Autonomous Cars Could Help)
“We think this technology is inching closer to commercial availability,” Ron told The New York Times.
Perhaps this may be the end to the famous Budweiser clydesdales. (RELATED: Big Beer Deal Could Fall Flat Thanks To Brexit)
Uber launched driverless cars in Pittsburgh in September. People there have been able to hitch a ride from a vehicle with no one operating the heavy machinery.
John Zimmer, the co-founder of Lyft, the ride-hailing little brother to Uber, somewhat ambitiously said in September that autonomous vehicles will “account for the majority of Lyft rides within 5 years.”
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