Uber’s self-driving taxis are still a long way to go before they can provide a reliable public service. Meanwhile, the autonomous truck company they own, Otto, has successfully sent a 18-wheel vehicle to make a delivery on its own #automagic
Otto’s first driverless truck completed a 120-mile journey without a driver at the wheel in order to deliver 50.000 cans of beer. The car left from Fort Collins and arrived in Colorado Springs safely. This was possible thanks to the strategy employed; a designated driver took the wheel in cities, navigating through cars, pedestrians and other unforeseen obstacles, while the autonomous system kicked in on the highway. Here, it maintained the distance between cars and wasn’t forced to switch lanes.
As the law doesn’t allow cars without supervision in traffic, state patrol officers pursued the vehicle on the highway, paying attention to its every move. Now, there’s a total of six trucks in the Bay area, running software trials. There appears to be a shortage of truck drivers at the moment (almost 50,000 below the actual demand) so driverless trucks could become a frequent sight.