Credit: Otto, YouTube
It's about 120 miles from Fort Collins, Colorado, to Colorado Springs.
The makers of Budweiser decided to have nearly 52,000 cans of beer shipped along the route – with a self-driving semi.
So in other words, no driver. For 120 miles.
The trip was made possible by Otto, a company that's owned by Uber and is aggressively working on "rethinking the future of transportation." Mainly with self-driving trucks.
As Otto explained in a blog post, it partnered with Anheuser-Busch and got the OK from the state of Colorado to bring the 51,744 Budweisers down the I-25 highway on Oct. 20.
"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," the blog post says.
There was a professional driver in the back the entire time, monitoring how the system was handling itself, Otto says. It was the world's first shipment via self-driven truck, the company adds.
The main benefit is allowing drivers to rest. Both Otto and Anheuser-Busch note the potential safety improvements – fewer sleep-deprived drivers on the road could mean fewer screw-ups, and fewer crashes.
In fact, one Colorado transportation safety official called it "a monumental step forward in advancing safety solutions."
What's the next step?
Well last month, the White House put out guidelines for self-driving cars, in what was essentially the first official semi-endorsement of the still-in-its-infancy technology.
And while we won't be seeing self-driving trucks all over the roads starting tomorrow, it's being aggressively pursued – Otto said its partnership with the Budweiser-maker is "just beginning, " adding they're "excited to transform commercial transportation together."