Instead of trying to convince ride-sharing passengers that driverless cars are safe, Uber has taken to shuttling a much less vocal type of passenger in its autonomous vehicles: beer. Otto, the company’s self-driving tech subsidiary, just delivered 2,000 cases of Budweiser in an autonomous 18-wheeler.
A human driver packed up the truck in Fort Collins, Colorado, took the truck out onto the road and then sat back and let the self-driving cab takeover for the 120 mile-trip to Colorado Springs. The route conveniently took the truck through Denver, the home of Budweiser’s rival, Coors. In a promotional video detailing the mechanical feat, the driver/passenger praised the self-driving technology for successfully maneuvering the truck as well as any human driver. While the delivery required a driver in case of emergency, Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski claims self-driving trucks are safe, acting like “trains on software rails.”
This likely won’t be the last autonomous delivery for Budweiser, which distributes 1.2 million truckloads of brewskis each year. According to The New York Times, Anheuser-Busch sees self-driving delivery trucks as the future. With high tech manufacturing lines pumping out the cans and autonomous trucks delivering the cases, all Budweiser needs now are machines to drink all that beer. We call these machines us.