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Self-driving truck makes 120-mile beer run

Associated Press

Anheuser-Busch says it has completed the world’s first commercial shipment by self-driving truck, sending a beer-filled tractor-trailer on a journey of more than 120 miles through Colorado.

The company says it teamed with self-driving truck maker, Otto, and the state of Colorado for the feat. The trailer, loaded with Budweiser beer, began the self-driving trip Thursday at a weigh station in Fort Collins, Colorado, and ran along Interstate 25 through Denver before wrapping up in Colorado Springs.

In an online blog post, representatives of Otto wrote that the truck hauled 51,744 cans of beer. A professional truck driver was on board for the entire trip, according to the firm.

The driver drove the truck from the distribution facility to the highway. Once on I-25, the driver hit a switch and the truck’s cameras and radar sensors took over.

“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 said.

The company says a professional truck driver was on board for the entire route and monitored the trip from the cab’s sleeper berth.

According to Otto, the goal is to give truck drivers a chance to rest during long stretches of highway driving.

“When you’ll see a truck driving down the road with nobody in the front seat, you’ll know that it’s highly unlikely to get into a collision, drive aggressively or waste a single drop of fuel,” the company wrote in their blog.

Anheuser-Busch says it hopes to see self-driving technology widely deployed.

Otto was recently acquired by Uber.

Detroit News Staff Writer Ian Thibodeau contributed.