Self-driving cars have been making headlines for a while now, but the latest news takes autonomous driving to a whole new level.
In a stunt that portends the future of truck driving, Uber-owned Otto, a self-driving truck startup, delivered 2,000 cases of Budweiser from Fort Collins, CO 120 miles down I-25 to Colorado Springs. The big rig was equipped with an array of cameras, radar and LIDAR sensing technology, and drove itself at an average speed of 55 mph, and was guided using GPS and hyper-accurate digital maps created on a scouting run.
The truck was followed by troopers, Colorado government having approved the early morning trek. A driver rode in the truck during the freeway leg of the trip and took the wheel at Colorado Springs city limits.
Of course, developments of this magnitude have far-reaching implications for the trucking industry. Vanity Fair has a good quick overview, for a more in-depth look at this story check out "It's a 50,000 pound semi. And its driving itself." and "Self-driving semi-truck makes first trip — a 120-mile beer run", both in USA Today.
In the meantime, IronPlanet has an impressive selection of Kenworths, Peterbilts, and Walmart trucks ready for you to drive for your own human self. Take a look at this 2014 Kenworth T800, this 2010 Freightliner Cascadia from Walmart, and this pretty 2009 Volvo VHD.