A new software could see cars driving themselves off the assembly line and through the logistics chain.
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Around the globe, producing cars is big business, with approximately 80 million cars being made every year. Manufacturing vehicles is costly, with the need to drive them throughout the process, from the production line, right through to making their way onto the forecourt in dealerships ready for customers.
Driverless cars are not a new concept and the transport industry is already making headway with the use of the first phase of the technology in trains and buses in countries like the UK. Swedish tech giant Semcon are now creating an evolution of the software which will see cars not only driving themselves off the assembly line, but also to the shipping area, on and off lorries and throughout the transportation chain. In addition to updated software, Born to Drive could also be added to modern vehicles, meaning if successful, it could be implemented in existing plants and cars. It is hoped that it will soon be able to handle more complex maneuvers while controlling and tracking the entire logistics flow of the vehicles. The company says it will even be able to tell if the fuel tank needs topping up.
Born to Drive is a collaborative project between technology companies, government agencies, component manufacturers and Volvo Cars, with Semcon having overall technical responsibility for the development of control algorithms, and vehicle positioning and communication with the traffic routing system.
Sweden is already home to another innovation which could revolutionise the haulage industry. Einride developed an e-truck concept that can drive up to 200 kilometres on a single charge, whilst carrying 20 tons of cargo. Like Born to Drive, this innovation could save vast amounts on drivers and save time transporting goods. Could driverless transport be used in other industries to save money and time? and could this be the start of more 24-hour automated services that no longer need people at the helm as a result?