No driver needed: 20 tons of butter takes road trip from California to Pennsylvania

No driver needed: 20 tons of butter takes road trip from California to Pennsylvania. By Summer Lin. A technological first.

A Silicon Valley startup has completed the first coast-to-coast commercial freight trip made by a self-driving truck, according to the company’s press release. Plus.ai announced on Tuesday that its truck traveled from Tulare, California, to Quakertown carrying over 40,000 pounds of Land O’Lakes butter. …

The journey took less than three days and spanned 2,800 miles, according to the announcement. It also involved different weather conditions and terrains, including the “expansive plains of Kansas (and) winding roads of the Rockies.” The truck drove “primarily in autonomous mode” and a driver was onboard for monitoring and safety purposes, according to the release.

A human driver only took over for “federally mandated breaks and refueling,” a Plus.ai spokesperson told McClatchy News. …

Despite the milestone, it’ll still be “a few years out” until self-driving trucks are making regular deliveries across the country.

The company’s spiel: