Everywhere we look, it seems that automation is becoming more prevalent in our society. We not only automate our homes with smart thermostats and lights, we’re also automating our factories in an effort to cut costs and reduce the chance of human error. That said, the transportation and logistics industry isn’t above this idea. In fact, many industry leaders are researching and testing automated technologies for the very purpose of reducing overall costs and lowering the number of incidents that result in injury or loss of products.
Companies such as Otto and Embark are already researching and testing self-driving semi trucks to help transport freight via interstate. Otto states that a self-driving vehicle (SDV) utilizes a laser-based perception combined with artificial intelligence to move. While many companies are actively working on producing automated cars for everyday use, the application of this technology in the commercial sector could drastically impact businesses worldwide. In fact, many truck owners have already begun looking at the prospect of automation.
The idea of automation expands far beyond transporting goods on the open road. Currently, there’s a great deal of automation that occurs within warehouses and manufacturing plants. Otto Motors sells small vehicles for warehouses that help fully optimize the available space. These devices allow warehouse managers to maximize their facilities by allowing them to modify the automated features as their space fluctuates.
While all this technology is garnering a lot of financial interest, there’s still a considerable need for manual labor and human workers in both warehouses and the transportation industry in general. Some believe that while automated trucks could potentially reduce traffic accidents, there may be some maneuvers that only human drivers could make on the fly. For the time being, the human connection is still needed to help optimize shipping paths. As humans, we do have the ability to think creatively which can prove to be incredibly beneficial in the workplace.
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