Uber and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV teamed up to deliver a shipment of beer using a self-driving truck, the first time a self-driving truck has made a commercial delivery.
The truck, an 18-wheeler, traveled more than 120 miles on its own, of course a truck driver was present to navigate the truck in the city but let go of the wheel during the highway route. A police cruiser also escorted the truck during the trip. The technology used was Uber’s Otto and is capable of level 4 autonomy. Uber acquired Otto last year but is running under Uber on a separate brand.
Otto’s autonomous technology can work with any truck with an automatic transmission. It uses LIDAR laser detection units, a radar that’s attached to the bumper, and a high precision camera that’s attached above the windshield.
Uber worked with Colorado regulators to obtain permission for the delivery and the arrangement for a police cruiser to follow the truck. The delivery was made from Fort Collins, CO to Colorado Springs.