Uber just used a self-driving truck to deliver beer
Ride-hailing app Uber has teamed up with beer brewer AB Inbev to deliver a truck full of Budweiser using a self-driving truck.
The truck drove itself down Interstate 25 in Colorado last week with nobody behind the wheel, in what the companies claim is the first time such technology has been used in a commercial delivery.
A police cruiser followed behind the truck while a driver sat in the sleeper section of the cab in case anything went wrong. It didn't, and the truck completed 120 miles of fully autonomous driving.
The truck was run by a company called Otto, which is a self-driving vehicle group bought by Uber in July. The company's president and co-founder, Lior Ron, said: "We wanted to show that the basic building blocks of the technology are here; we have the capability of doing that on a highway."
AB Inbev said it could save $50 million a year in the US alone if autonomous trucks could take over some of its driving. But Otto says it has no intention of killing off the driving profession.
"The focus has really been and will be for the future on the highway. Over 95 per cent of the hours driven are on the highway," Ron said. "Even in the future as we start doing more, we still think a driver is needed in terms of supervising the vehicle."