With the likes of Tesla leading the way when it comes to automated automotives, we can expect to see further developments creep into our daily lives in the coming years. Flying cars might be a little far fetched, but just how else could tech and automation affect transportation in the near future?
Big developments will follow when large shipping companies see a way to save money. This formula has made logistics one area of particular development when it comes to automation driving innovation.
Long distance haulage is a massive international business, involved in 70% of the items we buy. Drivers are often expected to cover huge distances under challenging circumstances. This can lead to regulations around rest times being ignored, leading to tiredness and ultimately accidents. It’s terribly human, which is where the team behind Otto comes in.
Otto have created sensors which can be installed on trucks after 2013. These sensors detect the road ahead. Once the roads have been detected, autopilot kicks in, taking control of the truck. Currently, Otto is limited to 5% of American interstate which may seem a little underwhelming, but at the same time, it’s only a matter of time until this expands and becomes more commonplace worldwide.
The goal of Otto is to reduce the human workload involved in long distance haulage, ultimately reducing the number of accidents and possibly reducing the costs for end customers. Otto can be retrofitted to post-2013 trucks for $30,000 which certainly offers a tempting development for haulage companies.
Rolls Royce, best known for their gorgeous cars, have recently outlined plans for automated cargo ships. Headed up by Rolls Royce’s Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative, these ships would be centrally monitored with an individual controlling several ships through a VR headset. These ships would require few or no human inputs and nobody on board. This makes for a const effective and efficient method of transporting cargo long distances, with positives results on shipping costs.
Aside from big businesses, there is also huge potential for innovation among everyday transportation users.
Like Otto, autopilot could reduce the likelihood of accidents on our roads. Unlike Otto, Tesla have been testing this on a much wider array of roads. Autopilot does more than simply provide the user with the coolest gadget money can buy, but because it reduces the likelihood of accidents, car insurance premiums will also be reduced in the long term. This isn’t our first time to discuss Tesla of course: you can read more on their air filtration system and unique problems faced by Irish adopters.
Empowering those with different abilities
The sheer power of technology and human will forced us to remove the word “disabilities” from this article. This is perfectly portrayed through Arrow Electronics’ SAM project. The SAM project surrounds Sam Schmidt, former Indy Racing League driver who was involved in a severe racing accident in 2000. Schmidt was left quadriplegic, but determined to drive again, he teamed up with Arrow Electronics in 2013.
This was the birth of the Semi-Autonomous Motorcar (SAM) project. The project would involve creation of a steering system controlled by Schmidt’s head movements along with breath controlled throttle and brakes. The potential for systems such as these to re-empower those who have had their abilities taken away from them. Such is the power of tech.