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This S.F. tech startup made world’s first beer delivery by self-driving truck possible

Colorado is the nation’s first state to have a beer delivery made by a self-driving truck and a San Francisco tech startup made it all possible.

Anheuser-Busch said a self-driving truck last week delivered a load of 50,000 cans of beer from its Fort Collins brewery through Denver and to its Colorado Springs destination.

A human driver accompanied the beer delivery, but his driving services weren’t used, Anheuser-Busch said.

The self-driving technology was created by San Francisco-based Otto, which was acquired by Uber in August, and received the blessing of the Colorado Department of Transportation.

“Colorado will continue to focus on working with Otto and others on how to safely deploy this technology on our roads,” said Shailen Bhatt, Colorado Department of Transportation executive director, in a statement.

Driver-less trucks are reportedly safer and will address a truck-driver shortage, Otto officials said. Otto outfitted a big rig with $30,000 of hardware to accomplish the feat. It has a half dozen trucks in the Bay Area that it is testing.

Ben Miller contributes to the Denver Business Journal and compiles the Morning Edition email newsletter. Contact him at

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