Otto Passes Milestone With Successful Beer Run
"This is real," says Lior Ron of Otto.
Ron is referring to the use of automated trucks to haul goods down U.S. highways.
On Thursday, October 20th, Budweiser completed a historic beer run by delivering 2000 cases of Budweiser's finest 120-miles from Fort Collins, Colorado to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In a video released today, the truck, along with its driver, Walter Martin, is shown heading out onto the open highway. Once at cruising speed, Martin pushes the switch and lets Otto take over.
Moving to the back, Martin enjoyed the ride, reading a magazine as the big beer truck rolls down the highway.
The largest brewery in the United States, Budweiser farms out the delivery of their beer, and was eager to see what Otto could do.
In preparation for the historic trip, several "dry" runs were made. First, with no beer. Then, with weighted cargo to simulate a real load of beer to see how the automated truck would react with a loaded trailer.
Martin, who became a truck driver to see the country, will have more time to see the sights to be sure. While the driver isn't needed during the highway portion of the journey, a driver is still needed to load, and unload the cargo.
While the technology still has some distance to travel before it's ready for mass deployment, this historic trip has many shipping companies looking forward to the possibilities.
Will Automated Trucks Spell The End Of The Truck Driving Profession
Many truck drivers feel that automated trucks will never be a reality - that the technology could never successfully pilot a truck down the highway.
That's now been proven to be false.
The fact is truck driving can be stressful and even dangerous. Stress to make more money ... fatigue to get the goods delivered on time, coupled with congested roads and inconsiderate four-wheelers result in accidents, and even deaths.
The promise is that automated trucks will result in fewer accidents and more productivity. And the hope is, improved efficiencies will allow trucking companies to pay drivers a good wage.
What do you think?
How do you think automated trucks will change the way the job of truck driver is done? Leave us a comment below.