Set to be revolutionized, the logistic sector is immensely crucial for the viability of businesses around the world. Much of the world’s commercial activities are deeply reliant on procuring and delivering goods and the costs related to this add up in the value of products. If businesses can reduce these costs to a substantial degree, it would give them access to lowering their prices much more than they are currently and result in increased sales and higher profit margins. To accomplish this, the safest bet for businesses would lie in the field of automated vehicles that are being developed at a fast pace with improved capabilities being added each day.
Big companies like Google, Uber, Daimler, Tesla and Baidu are investing a lot of their resources into making autonomous vehicles get better and accrue the benefits that this breathtaking technology promises.
From autonomous cars to self-driving trucks, a wide variety of multi-functional automated vehicles are being tested for commercial viability. The vision for driverless roads is moving forward fast and in it lies intense commercial benefit for nearly all businesses. Here are some of the amazing benefits that these technological marvels, run by advanced systems such as deep learning and artificial intelligence, could transform the business industry in the upcoming future:
Uber’s self-driving truck just recently made a cross country trip where it transported 50,000 cans of beer. After the truck came onto the highway the driver gave up his controls and transferred them over to the vehicle’s autonomous system, which took it on the next length of the journey. A driverless vehicle plying on the roads in itself might sound like something amazing but what’s more amazing is the window of opportunity it unfolds to improve productivity.
A driver is demanded by law to work continuously for no more than 11 hours, after which it is required to make an 8 hour stop. But with driverless trucks, the vehicle could go on for nearly 24 hours without stopping, with only a single driver required on standby in case something goes wrong and it has to wrest controls from the autopilot system on the truck. In the near future, there is a big possibility that the driverless truck could become so advanced that it wouldn’t require a driver.
Drivers represent 40% of all transportation cost, restricting their use or eliminating them altogether could stand to reduce costs considerably and considering the fact that the driverless truck is nearly twice as productive, it opens up the possibility that goods could soon be transported for 25% of the cost. It’s an amazing window of opportunity to deliver goods to people faster and in a less costly manner.
Operational Efficiency and Cost Cutting:
It’s just not about how long they can travel without supervision, It’s also important that we assess the feature further to understand wholly as to how do they do it. Fuel and insurance represent a huge amount of costs associated with each trip and autonomous trucks are not content with just eliminating the cost of the driver, they would provide the opportunity to substantially reduce these extra costs as well. Platooning is a concept where trucks align with each other on the highway, a process which reduces drag considerably and cruises forward at an optimal speed where fuel is used in the most efficient manner. It’s difficult for humans to imitate this concept when driving a fleet of trucks all by themselves but autonomous trucks can definitely make immense use of the concept and cut down costs related to fuel.
A lot of crashes on the highways involving trucks are caused by human error which makes insurance a critical component of the whole process but autonomous trucks would require a very little amount of insurance as they are not vulnerable to human fallacies like feeling tired or getting distracted, hence substantially reducing the cost of premium that companies would have to pay to insurance companies.
Making things a lot safer:
Safety is valued highly by companies involved in work where risk can be quite higher as compared to other conventional fields like the construction and mining industry. Humans are required to work in conditions where danger levels are considerably high and the cost towards making them secure enough from harm are even higher. Machines and heavy equipment operated by humans at these sites is becoming automated as well, helping us reduce the substantial amount of risk to human lives.
Recently, Komatsu, a Japanese equipment manufacturer, unveiled its Autonomous Haulage Vehicle, which is based on a revolutionary concept as it’s a dump truck that doesn’t have a driver’s cabin and has to be remotely controlled through off-site management. Doing away with the driver’s cabin by Komatsu, not only increased the safety quotient on mining and construction sites but also increased the amount of payload space that this autonomous dump truck could deliver.
Making their case stronger for a faster and more compelling rate of adoption by companies involved in similar work the world over, autonomous vehicles likes these stand the chance of providing the much-needed impetus required to take the business world forward to the next level.