Uber's self-driving truck makes successful beer delivery

A driverless Uber truck loaded with 50,000 cans of Budweiser beer made a 120-mile journey across Colorado last week in the first commercial shipment by a self-driving truck.

Otto is Uber's self-driving truck subsidiary. Its vehicles can drive autonomously on the highway, leaving the driver free to do other tasks, or relax.

Otto's Volvo trucks are retrofitted with lidar, radar and cameras, which collect data that onboard computers translate into driving directions, Wired reported.

See pictures of the truck:

Uber’s self-driving truck makes successful beer delivery
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Uber’s self-driving truck makes successful beer delivery
Uber-owned trucking startup Otto's first self-driving trip was a beer run https://t.co/WyYsg7EAnA https://t.co/tnOZjt5n0t

An Autonomous trucking start-up Otto vehicle is shown during an announcing event in Concord, California, U.S. August 4, 2016.

(REUTERS/Alexandria Sage/File Photo)

Uber and Anheuser-Busch make first autonomous trucking beer delivery https://t.co/rKKCVmis6g https://t.co/yykcgwaSyX

The self-driving trucks maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and only change lanes when necessary. The technology only works on the highway so drivers are still needed to navigate trickier city roads.

Otto believes that in the future self-driving trucks will drive on the interstate, with human drivers handling the last few miles into town.

Trucks haul 70 percent of freight in the U.S., but the industry has a shortfall of 48,000 drivers, which could reach 175,000 within 10 years, Wired reported, citing the American Trucking Association.

Otto hopes that driverless trucks can make up the deficit of drivers, reduce emissions and increase efficiency. It also thinks driverless trucks will make roads safer by reducing human error. There are 400,000 truck crashes in the U.S. each year, which claim 4,000 lives, Wired reported, citing federal statistics.

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