There are few places you can go that technology has not touched in a significant way. The construction industry is no different as tablets, construction management apps, and BIM models are already a part of how business is done. However, a new breed of technology is being developed and may be hitting jobsites nationwide and in the near future. Driverless construction vehicles are being developed by major manufacturers, like Komatsu, and have the potential to make the construction site a more efficient and safer place.
Introducing Driverless Construction Technology
Driverless construction vehicles use 3D imaging, developed by aerial footage and laser sensors, to map out the construction area. A 3D model is created using the site development plan. The driverless machines themselves use GPS technology, sensors, and cameras to navigate the area and to allow operators to pinpoint their location. Site plans, data collected from the machinery, and maps are used to determine the degree to which they should function on site. For example, this information gathered can help a machine determine how much ground to move.
Applications for Driverless Construction Vehicles
Driverless construction vehicles can take on a number tasks on the construction site. This includes:
- Bulldozers: Bulldozers, like the ones being developed by Komatsu, are navigated using 3D CAD construction data.
- Dump trucks: These vehicles use GPS to move materials throughout the site.
Benefits of Driverless Construction Vehicles
There is a concern that these vehicles may eventually eliminate jobs in the construction industry. However, as any St. Petersburg construction attorney would tell you, technology applied correctly, replaces barriers, not necessarily people. These vehicles still have to be piloted and will present the following benefits.
- Efficient operation: Driverless vehicles can be programmed to perform tasks more accurately with a more efficient use of time spent.
- Safety: By taking the operator out of the vehicle, you reduce the likelihood of fatigue and human error.
- Solving worker shortages: There’s an emerging shortage of heavy machinery operators. Operating driverless machines is a skill that may be able to be taught quickly, especially to millennials.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.