And can you imagine what they delivered? Beer, lots of beer. A semi-trailer carrying no less than 50,000 cans of Budweiser went on its way autonomously for no less than 120 miles and then completed the delivery of the traditional brew.
San Francisco startup Otto belongs to Uber since 2015, when the ride-hailing service provider shelled out around $680 million, mainly because the former has knowledge in advanced autonomous driving technologies for large rigs. The huge 18-wheeler had about $30,000 worth of hardware and software – taking care of all the work and allowing the human at the wheel to relax and enjoy the ride. The journey took the truck from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, and at the start the Otto driver was behind the wheel – when he merged onto Interstate 25, he switched on the “engage” mode and climbed out of the driver’s seat to let the computers do everything.
With 50,000 cans of Budweiser inside, the semi-truck drove itself for 120 miles (193 kilometers), with an engineer from the company monitoring everything. The truck had onboard three LIDAR (Light Imaging, Detection, and Ranging) devices, a radar, and a high-definition camera to scan the road up ahead. The firm wants to perform more such deliveries and perfect the technology in the years to come for any imaginable road scenario. Otto already has six trucks in tests in the San Francisco Bay Area on the interstates 101 and 280.