Ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. has teamed up with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB inBev) to deliver what appears to be the first commercial shipment via self-driving truck.
This first delivery had a police cruiser to check if things were alright, with the driver, well, hanging out in the sleeper cab. The 18-wheeler truck managed to travel 120 miles unsupervised, too.
The 18-wheeler self-driving
truck is from Otto, the self-driving vehicle company that Uber bought in July. Having accomplished this stunt meant the company really can pull off autonomous deliveries.
AB InBev explained it can save $50-million per annum in the United States alone if autonomous trucks did their deliveries, even
with drivers. Savings will be from fuel costs and a fixed delivery schedule.
Although it may take a bit of time before everyone supports the notion. Not a lot of Americans appear to support the technology, especially with the trucking industry.
There are also issues about accidents related to Tesla Motor's autopilot system
. But there are reports that companies are moving towards safety regulations.
For this particular delivery, Uber's Otto team collaborated with Colorado's police department for police supervision. They also had the delivery early in the morning so traffic
would be light.
Uber doesn't plan to build its own automated trucks either, and is planning to collaborate with other automakers.