The most important beer run of the 21st century happened on October 20th, 2016, marking the first commercial delivery made by a self-automated truck. 51,744 cans of Budweiser, 120 miles, four patrol car escorts, and one self-driving truck is all it took to make history.
Meet Otto Trucks
Although there was a driver in the truck monitoring the trip and ready to take over, that was never necessary as the trip was a total success. The historic delivery was made by Otto, a startup that has been on the market for less than a year. Otto’s original mission was to supply trucks with the technology for self-automation, but since being quickly bought by Uber, its future is much greater than that. And we called it. Back in May, we knew Otto would shake up the trucking industry.
Uber started out as and continues to be a mobile app cab service. Born from technology, Uber is rolling with the latest technological innovations to progress and transform the transportation industry. Their mission is to make transportation safe, efficient, and available to all.
The Future of Trucking
Otto trucks are loaded with much more than technology that makes self-automation possible. Currently, with a fleet of six trucks, Otto’s next move is to double that number as they continue with their pilot program. They still have a long way to go, as they’ll have to test their trucks in all weather conditions and roads, a major factor and one of the many barriers that Otto faces.
Truckers aren’t the only ones worried about their jobs. Uber’s ambitions for Otto will put them in direct competition with the truck industry’s brokers. However, they are hardly the first to do so. Transfix and Convoy & Cargo Chief are one of the many companies out there that are using algorithms to match loads with carriers.
As threatening as driverless trucks sound, Otto’s co-founder, Lior Ron, believes that truckers’ jobs are not in danger. Otto trucks are meant to aid drivers, not replace them completely. Think of Otto trucks as autopilots. Truckers will have the ability to take real breaks, without wasting precious time. Whatever the case may be, don’t prepare for a driverless future, but a driverless tomorrow.