DENVER – Build it, and it will come.
Anheuser-Busch (BUD) said 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 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.
The company said a professional truck driver was on board for the entire route, monitoring the trip from the cab’s sleeper berth. The trip was completed without his intervention, according to Anheuser-Busch.
Otto was recently acquired by Uber.
Anheuser-Busch says it hopes to see self-driving technology widely deployed. The beverage giant said autonomous trucks can help cut the number of accidents, noting that nearly half of fatalities in the U.S. occur on highways.
“Teaming with Otto to deploy self-driving technology on the roads of Colorado is a monumental step forward in advancing safety solutions that will help Colorado move towards zero deaths on our roads,” said Colorado Department of Transportation executive director Shailen Bhatt in a statement.
Self-driving tech can also enable more fuel-efficient driving, reducing truck emissions, according to the company.