Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Driverless trucks before driverless cars

As of now, driverless cars cost more than regular cars because of the additional sensors and additional computer power needed to manage all these sensor’s data. It’s clear that the added cost will dwindle during the following years as driverless cars will become more “mainstream”.

This “driverless” added cost might, soon, not be so big anyway when considering a truck driven by a professional driver.

In a 1st step, a driver will have to be present, but the driverless functionality will be a great help for him. Legally, he might even be allowed to drive longer in the day, which would improve its productivity from its employer point of view. The overall balance between cost of driverless feature and improved productivity due to assisted driving would then very soon tilt in favor of driverless trucks.

In a ultimate step (step 3), a driver might not even be needed (technically and legally). At this stage we can expect driverless functionality to be well below a truck driver’s yearly cost.

Driverless trucks are most mature in Australia mines


Before having driverless trucks on our road, they will arrive very soon or are already there in controlled environments such as mines. In these “closed” environments V2V or V2I technologies make sense as opposed to regular highway.

Typically in Australia where Rio Tinto is using some Komatsu’s driverless trucks and Autonomous Haulage System—Komatsu's Pioneering Technology Deployed at Rio Tinto Mine in Australia.

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Talking about another mining project in South Australia from Iron Road Limited:
Despite all he has achieved, Mr Scholz (Wudinna’s mayor) realises without the mine Wudinna faces an increasingly difficult future. "They will have driverless tractors within 10 years and if the trend continues we won't be able to sustain our community," he said.

Truck driver might not be a job with a great future anymore.

5 comments:

  1. Very interesting article. In my earlier company,I had developed Radio controlled dozer and also automated gear shifting for dump trucks. I feel equipment like dozer,loader,excavator,etc.. may have more potential for driverless as they execute more powered functions compared to their mobility
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  2. Driverless trucks is a pretty good idea! Take a look at our BiModal Glideway Dual Mode Transportation System, we have a short video that can be found on our website, www.bimodalglideway.com

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  3. Nice article! But there's a negative and positive outcome for this because a lot of drivers will lose their jobs because of driverless trucks.

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  4. This is awesome. New technology helps to increase more productivity.

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