Last Thursday Otto, the self-driving truck subsidiary of Uber, completed the first real-world commercial freight delivery using their new autonomous trucking technology. Otto shipped 45,000 cans of Budweiser from Fort Collins, Colo. to Colorado Springs with no driver at the wheel. The 120 mile trip down I-25 through Denver was made with the driver monitoring from the truck’s sleeper birth for the entire two-hour journey. The only time the driver took to the wheel was driving on and off the highway ramps.
The early morning drive at an average speed of 55 mph was the first revenue generating load transported via autonomous truck. Otto was paid the market rate of $470 for the job using one of its trucks outfitted with the new technology.
Otto plans to involve more commercial partners and independent drivers who will use the technology, designed to increase safety and decrease costs as the truck is able to be operated 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The biggest cost savings for the trucking industry will eventually come from eliminating the driver entirely. James Sembrot, Anheuser-Busch’s senior director of logistics strategy said, “We can see a future where this type of equipment is standard on all trucks”.
Mammas your babies ain't gonna be truck drivers.