Uber's First Self-Driving Truck Delivery Was 50,000 Cans of Beer

uber beer self-driving truck otto
Otto's autonomous truck hauled a trailer loaded with 50,000 cans of Budweiser down a Colorado interstate. Otto

Uber-owned firm Otto completed the world's first commercial shipment by a self-driving truck, and also marked the world's largest self-driving beer run.

The flagship pilot by Otto and brewing company Anheuser-Busch saw an autonomous truck haul a trailer loaded with 50,000 cans of Budweiser down a 100-mile stretch of Interstate 25 in Colorado. A human driver remained on board, though did not intervene in the journey once the vehicle had left its exit ramp.

"The incredible success of this pilot shipment is an example of what is possible when you deploy self-driving technology," said Otto co-founder Lior Ron. "By embracing this technology, [Otto and Anheuser-Busch] are actively contributing to the creation of a safer and more efficient transportation network. We are excited to have reached this milestone together, and look forward to further rolling out our technology on the nation's highways."

Otto was acquired by Uber in August for a reported $680 million, forming what Uber CEO Travis Kalanick described as an autonomous engineering "dream team."

Shailen Bhatt, executive director of Colorado's Department of Transportation, says the test of the technology is the first step towards an ambitious goal of eliminating traffic-related deaths in the state.

"Teaming with Otto to deploy self-driving technology on the roads of Colorado is a monumental step forward in advancing safety solutions that will help Colorado move towards zero deaths on our roads," Bhatt said.

"Colorado will continue to focus on working with Otto and others on how to safely deploy this technology on our roads."