When Uber acquired Otto, a 90-person start-up devoted to initiating a self-driving fleet of trucks, in April, we waited with bated breath to find out what the first successful delivery would be. The answer? About 2,000 cases of Budweiser.
On October 20, the self-driving truck drove 120 miles on Colorado's I-25 from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs in the wee hours of the morning to complete its first mission: delivering 50,000 Budweisers. Rest assured, there was a human in the truck who helped get the truck on and off the exit ramps, as reported by Business Insider. There were also multiple transportation officials in the back to make the historic journey in the first self-driving truck commercial delivery.
Anheuser-Busch InBev outsources all of its beer delivery and was eager to be the first beer-load delivered by this exciting new technology. It is the first commercial truck load delivered by self-driving vehicle in the United States.
This wasn't a test completed without planning - the route was mapped weeks in advance by a team of engineers from Otto. From there, they began to test current trucks with dummy weight loads so they could understand the physics of a truck filled with 50,000 beers.
Either way, the outcome was successful and is a big step toward things to come.