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Uber's Self-Driving Truck Delivers 2000 Cases of Budweiser

Nov 08, 2016 04:00 AM EST

A party with booze definitely gives one a whale of a time. The good news is that you can now call on a self-driving truck to stock up your fridge.

Well, that's what happened recently; a self-driving truck developed by Otto, a startup of ride-hailing giant Uber, recently made its first commercial delivery last week without a real human driver behind the wheel, covering 120 miles (200 kilometers) across Colorado to drop 2,000 cases of Budweiser.

The truck started its journey on Oct. 20 from the Anheuser-Busch facility located in Colorado and drove down I-25 till it reached Colorado Springs. A trained driver was present in the truck to take over in case of emergency, but he didn't have to intervene throughout the long stretch, according to Otto. The truck was a Volvo equipped with sensors and cameras, and it carried 50,000 frosty cans.

People in Colorado drank the beer delivered by the self-driving truck, said James Sembrot, senior director at Anheuser-Busch. Transportation officials at Colorado were briefed about the shipment and assisted in planning the route The truck drove at an average speed of 55 miles per hour. Even though the truck developed by Otto is completely autonomous, it will still have drivers for the deliveries. This is because humans are still needed for pickup, loading the shipment, and ensuring that the freight remains secure.

According to Lior Ron, co-founder of Otto, Uber is not focused on building its own trucks but instead wants to collaborate with automakers. The company is presently deliberating with truck manufacturers, he added. Otto wants to dive deeper and test different kinds of highways, weather conditions, and traffic patterns and form more partnerships in the near future, said a company statement. The company is also focused on safety, and it's unlikely for a collision to take place, according to Anthony Levandowski, co-founder of Otto.

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