It’s longest beer run ever made without a human behind the wheel.
The record books are full of amazing runs. Who can forget Roger Bannister, who in 1954 became the first person to run a sub-four-minute mile? Or what about Usain Bolt smashing the record for the 100-meter dash in 2009? But the latest run to be enshrined in the record books… It’s a beer run. And its claim to fame was that no human was involved at all.
The Guinness Book of World Records has officially added last year’s 132-mile trip by a self-driving truck carrying a stash of Budweiser beer as the “Longest continuous journey by a driverless and autonomous semitrailer truck.” As you may recall, the autonomous vehicle from tech company Otto made the journey on October 20, 2016, carrying 2,000 cases of Bud from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs by way of downtown Denver. A “driver” was on board just in case anything went wrong, but according to Otto, he never took control of the vehicle. In fact, at one point, he was even seen in the sleeper berth reading.
According to the Denver Post, the mark of 212.433 kilometers (record-keepers love their metric system) was officially verified by the team at Guinness World Records yesterday and added to their well-known “book.” According to Guinness, “The self-driving vehicle traveled on its own and did not follow any lead vehicle assisting it with navigation or any other driving tasks,” as confirmed by the American Transportation Research Institute.
But though this record may seem groundbreaking now, the more interesting development will probably be to see how long it lasts. Driverless vehicles – be them carrying 51,744 cans of Budweiser or a couple Uber passengers – are a quickly advancing technology. Though 132 miles seem like a long distance now, it’s likely one day that will be about as impressive as the 120 feet the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk. Though to be fair, I don’t believe the Wright brothers has any Budweiser on board at the time.