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Budweiser Delivers First Shipment Using Autonomous Truck

October 25, 2016

If you're in Colorado Springs, you might buy a can of beer that was shipped by a self-driving truck.

Otto and Budweiser announced Tuesday that they have reached a major milestone on the road to autonomous trucking with the completion of the world’s first shipment using a self-driving truck.

Otto, which is now owned by Uber, teamed up with Anheuser-Busch to haul 51,744 cans of Budweiser from Fort Collins, through downtown Denver, to Colorado Springs. By using cameras, radar, and lidar sensors mounted on the vehicle to “see” the road, Otto’s system controlled the acceleration, braking, and steering of the truck to carry the beer exit-to-exit without any human intervention.

Walter Martin, a professional truck driver since 2007, monitored the 120-mile journey down I-25 on October 20 from the sleeper berth in the back. Otto says the project had full support from the State of Colorado.

“We are always looking for new innovations and technology,” explained Anheuser Busch’s James Sembrot in a video posted by Otto. “Otto’s trucks are the next area of transportation innovation.”

The driver is still involved in picking up the load, making sure the freight is secured in the trailer. Once the truck is on the Interstate, he flips a switch and the truck drives itself down the road.

As HDT's Rolf Lockwood reported earlier this year, Otto hardware and software is tuned for the consistent patterns and easy-to-predict road conditions of highway driving. Sensors are installed high atop the truck, which offers an unobstructed view of the road ahead. With highways making up only 5% of U.S. roads, Otto says this allows a tight testing focus on a specific set of trucking routes critical for the American economy.

The driver monitored the 120-mile trip on I-25 from the sleeper. Photo courtesy Otto.
The driver monitored the 120-mile trip on I-25 from the sleeper. Photo courtesy Otto.


  1. 1. Steve Ralston [ October 25, 2016 @ 08:12AM ]

    This is absolutely fantastic news!

  2. 2. Tom laughlin [ October 25, 2016 @ 08:37AM ]

    Great news they found another way to screw the trucker out of more money. For that matter a job eventually. There's usually more bad than good out of technology I see more bad from this can't wait for the first pile up in winter that should be fun.

  3. 3. Jw in the desert [ October 25, 2016 @ 09:15AM ]

    Its great news if your not a driver.

  4. 4. Robin [ October 25, 2016 @ 11:28AM ]

    What duty status does the driver log for this trip?

  5. 5. Robin in the north [ October 25, 2016 @ 11:43AM ]

    Just spoke with driver Morris and he wondered if you can use team driver rules?

  6. 6. Bonnie [ October 25, 2016 @ 12:46PM ]

    not really a good idea to have the driver not in the seat, what if the rig is rearended? what if a car hits the median and broadsides the truck or trailer. How long will it take for the driver to get back into the seat and take control. Or what if he falls a sleep in the sleeper? Anything can happen, I am reminded of reading about the tragic Tesla accident. Should I say anything more?

  7. 7. Red Pill [ October 25, 2016 @ 02:13PM ]

    Calling all CDL Drivers. It is time to Boycott all companies like Bush and anyone else who will employ these trucks. This is a direct threat to our livelihoods. Fight this or kiss your jobs goodbye...


  8. 8. Stan [ October 25, 2016 @ 04:04PM ]

    Autonomous vehicles, in general, are coming whether we like it or not. The key is to get on the side that benefits by it. If you think you can stop it, you need to look at how that worked for the buggy whip manufacturers.

  9. 9. Poogan [ October 26, 2016 @ 05:14AM ]

    This will not last long. Once a few people are killed by these trucks, and a few multi-million dollar lawsuits are paid out, they will discontinue the use of them

  10. 10. Joseph G Knudson [ October 26, 2016 @ 10:08AM ]

    We have been driving down the slippery slope of autonomous vehicles for a long time. You may think you are applying your brakes but there is actually a computer braking your vehicle. Automatic transmissions and a computer have replaced manual transmissions. The list goes on, this is just another step in the process (although this is a much larger step to be sure.)

  11. 11. Linwood windsor [ October 26, 2016 @ 05:19PM ]

    When the consumer has no job due to automation. the money to buy the product will come from ........

  12. 12. Razorback [ October 27, 2016 @ 01:40PM ]

    what happen when one of these gets Hacked!

  13. 13. Tom Eaton [ October 27, 2016 @ 01:48PM ]

    I agree with Linwood. When you eliminate the jobs, who are these morons going to sell their beer to? Great for the bottom line until there's no one to buy the beer!! DRINK COORS!!

  14. 14. Cliff Downing [ October 29, 2016 @ 09:54PM ]

    Will be fun to watch these things do a blizzard on Monument Pass on I-25.

  15. 15. MilkAndWookiees [ December 13, 2016 @ 11:57PM ]

    Walter Martin is a traitor to all of his brothers and sisters in the industry.


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