Uber Self-Driving Truck Packed With Budweiser Makes First Delivery In Colorado

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Bud A.'s Comment
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Uber Self-Driving Truck Packed With Budweiser Makes First Delivery in Colorado

A tractor trailer full of beer drove itself down Colorado's I-25 last week with nobody behind the wheel. Uber Technologies Inc. and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV teamed up on the delivery, which they said is the first time a self-driving truck had been used to make a commercial shipment.

With a police cruiser in tow, the 18-wheeler cruised more than 120 miles while a truck driver hung out back in the sleeper cab, the companies said. The delivery appears to be mostly a stuntβ€”proof that Otto, the self-driving vehicle group that Uber acquired in July, could successfully put an autonomous truck into the wild.

"We wanted to show that the basic building blocks of the technology are here; we have the capability of doing that on a highway," said Lior Ron, the president and co-founder of Uber's Otto unit. "We are still in the development stages, iterating on the hardware and software."

AB InBev said it could save $50 million a year in the U.S. if the beverage giant could deploy autonomous trucks across its distribution network, even if drivers continued to ride along and supplement the technology. Those savings would come from reduced fuel costs and a more frequent delivery schedule.

Proving the viability of autonomous trucking has become more important amid mounting regulatory and public scrutiny. Surveys show most Americans aren't sold on the technology. The U.S. trucking industry is particularly sensitive to it. While fatalities in the industry far exceed those of other businesses and could therefore benefit from improved safety, it employed 1.5 million people in September, jobs that may be threatened by autonomous vehicles.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Sambo's Comment
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They can save 50 miles a year..hmm. wonder how that works. The cost of an autonomous truck is not going to be cheap I'm sure. A fleet of those will set you back several million I'm sure, not to mention the cost of insurance, at least up front. Insurance companies are probably going to charge a huge premium for a truck with no driver, at least until the technology proves itself to be safe.

I do have a few questions:

1) who's going to pre trip the truck each day? Yes, you can put sensors on the truck, but for every single inspectable component? Sensors fail. So, will the truck stops now offer Pre trip services so when a truck pulls up, a mechanic will come out and inspect it?

2) what happens when a truck load driving down the interstate at 70mph has an electrical failure? Normally, if a computer senses something wrong, it can pull the truck to the shoulder and shut down. If it has an electrical system failure that basically shuts the truck down, now you have a free wheeling truck rolling down the road with no control, or worse, the brakes just lock up.

3) how will the computer deal with lane variations? In other words, lane shifts and things like that in construction zones.

4) how will the computer deal with traffic situations, such as a wreck down the road? How will it know where to navigate? Or will it simply just pull over and shut down until the incident is cleared? What about detours?

Gps navigation is not updated in a daily basis, so the mapping system in the truck is usually several weeks, or months old. On the other hand, if they have a way for mapping to be updated on a daily basis or in real time, then why haven't they been able to provide us with it already?

If it's based on gps mapping...well we know how that can go. I can see it now, 20 trucks all jammed up on a dead end road case the gps system lead them down there lol.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Driver's Comment
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That is a good article.

I am surprised they have already done self driving testing with semi trucks on the highway already.

I am sure a truck could make a trip across country with the current technology. I like the idea of sitting in the sleeper while the truck drives itself on the interstate and then assisting with fuel ups, city driving, etc. Unfortunately, will mean a wage decrease. Once the technology develops more, which will be soon, it will be safer than a driver behind the wheel. Plus, we can all start going out to bars again on the weekend, with our self driving cars!

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Sambo's Comment
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Yeah, I'm sure the wages will drop, as the trucking companies will decide that since we are not needed as much, and the computer is doing all of the work, no need to pay a driver .35cpm+ for riding in a truck.

Or, more likely, since this is the way industry operates, since it will be computer based, they'll replace us all with IT professionals and pay them all $100,000 a year. Lol.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Phoenix's Comment
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Gee, maybe the two years of information systems I took in college will come in handy after all. rofl-3.gif

Diver Driver's Comment
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So they can build a self driving truck, but Freightliner can't build a truck that doesn't have a leaky windshield. πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜…

Sambo's Comment
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So they can build a self driving truck, but Freightliner can't build a truck that doesn't have a leaky windshield. πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜…

LOL, right? Makes you wonder about a lot of things. We put a man on the moon with a computer that had the power of a modern day pocket calculator, put a Rover on Mars, and we were able to harness nuclear energy by splitting the atom, but we cannot figure out how to solve traffic congestion, or keep the check engine light from coming on all the time......

Anchorman's Comment
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We put a man on the moon...

Or did we...Hmm, Conspiracy maybe???

mountain girl's Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

We put a man on the moon...

double-quotes-end.png

Or did we...Hmm, Conspiracy maybe???

Oh don't even go there, Mr. Funnyman. We didn't even have the special effects technology to FAKE landing on the moon. People don't realize that when those missions were launched, every station on every channel in the US was covering it live, 24/7 for the entire week or so that the mission was happening.

You could turn (yes, turn) the channels all you wanted but there was nothing else on -just the exact same thing on every channel, night and day. No special f/x back then could have supported such a huge undertaking. Going to the moon for real was actually easier.

Back to the trucks: I've seen videos from Germany where the the trucks run in pairs. The automated truck follows a man-driven truck and the automated truck has a driver monitoring from the passenger seat.

-mountain girl

smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Personally, I don't think I could withstand sitting in the truck, watching it drive. Where's the fun in THAT?

I'm having a tough enough time wrapping my head around the new tractor with an automatic transmission, that I'm getting next week. Ugh. Shifting is so much fun. Believe it or not, I'm going to miss this International when I have no shifting to do.

-mountain girl

confused.gif

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