Self-Driving Cars Expected by 2021
In mid August, Ford Chief Executive, Mark Fields, announced plans to have fully self-driving cars available for sale by 2021. The cars will be unrolled first as a ride sharing mechanism before they will be made available to the general public a few years later. Fields commented about Ford’s future strategy to the LA Times, “The next decade will be defined by the automation of the automobile, and we see autonomous vehicles as having a significant impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago.”
Self-driving car technology is not limited to the traditional car market though. The construction industry has successfully implemented military inspired GPS tracking technology into vehicles. As reported by Construction Junkie, Royal Truck & Equipment (@RoyalTruckEquip) developed what they call the Autonomous Truck Mounted Attenuator (ATMA). ATMA is driverless tech that works by reading the GPS data from the car in front of it, which acts as the “leader car,” to then transmit that data back to the ATMA vehicle. The ATMA vehicle then analyzes the data to then follow the movements and speed of the “leader truck” in front of it. Royal Truck & Equipment hopes that the driverless ATMA technology could ultimately reduce injuries of construction workers.
Developments in the self-driving technology realm are constantly making headlines. Last week, Volvo Construction Company unveiled an autonomous wheel loader that can be programmed to follow pre-defined routes to perform specified work. Semi-autonomous add-ons to vehicles also gained coverage last week. Comma.ai is hoping to transform the self-driving market through the development of a mass market add-on that can be attached to a select range of cars to prevent drivers from having to steer or use the gas and brake pedals.
The development of driverless technology within the coming years will forever change not only the motor industry, but also the construction world. Autonomous vehicles will improve jobsite safety, reduce transportation injuries, and increase efficiencies.
To stay up to date on the impact that self-driving cars and other trendsetting tech and construction innovations will have on future construction projects, tune in to the ConTechTrio weekly tech podcast.
About the Author
My name is Leann Taylor and I am currently a senior Supply Chain Management Student at Texas A&M University. This is my second semester with JBKnowledge as a Marketing Intern. My time with JBKnowledge has been an eye-opening experience as I have been able to gain great insight into how technology is continually transforming the construction industry, and the world!