Uber and Anheuser-Busch say a driverless truck hauled 45,000 cans of Budweiser beer across Colorado, in a test of real-world commercial use of autonomous trucking. Gavino Garay reports.
If you've been driving along the Colorado highway this fall, you may have passed this driverless beer truck without even knowing it. Uber and Anheuser-Busch executives say Otto, the self-driving truck subsidiary of Uber, drove some 45,000 cans over 120 highway miles with no driver at the wheel. State troopers monitored the truck as it maintained an average speed of 55mph. Colorado doesn't expressly prohibit self-driving trucks. Autotrader Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs says it's a test of what the future could hold for autonomous driving. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUTOTRADER SENIOR ANALYST, MICHELLE KREBS, SAYING: "It's a very interesting beer run, isn't it? Well, I think, what's interesting about it is, we've talked a lot about self-driving cars and this idea that we're all going to own them. I think this is an example of the more near-term realistic use." Officials say during the trip from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, a driver was only at the wheel while the ruck was coming on and off a highway ramp, and Otto was paid the market rate of $470 for the job. Experts say driverless trucks are more likely to hit the market before driverless cars because of the predictability of routes, and fewer distractions. So for now, you're going to need a lot of designated drivers for all that beer.