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Autonomous Vehicles Fully Impact Construction in Next 3-5 Years

Aug 30, 2018

Helge Jacobsen, Vice President for Advanced Solutions, United Rentals, delivered a keynote to attendees of the E2E Summit in Denver this week. His topic focused on three productivity megatrends: superhumans; connected & interconnected; and new ways to design & build. One of his highlight videos relating specifically to the electrical contracting world shows installation of solar panels on a large solar farm in Florida.

The focus is on one of United Rental’s autonomous “bobcat” vehicles delivering the solar panels to installers in the field. Their autonomous equipment allowed the contractor to use just three workers for the job of delivery and installation on site, a task that would have utilized six workers before. This is key to productivity especially when three electricians can be utilized somewhere else in the contractors work schedule instead of on delivery and installation tasks.

Watch this clip of Daimler’s self-driving truck on Nevada highways:

autonomous truck dailmail.com

For the past five months, Daimler’s self-driving eighteen-wheeler has safely and efficiently navigated Nevada’s highways. An article last week from Tech Emergence, gives a great timeline for the self-driving car. Tesla, Volvo, Uber and others have had these vehicles on the road in test conditions or as partial self-driving experimentation. Some companies have a target date as early as 2020 for fully self-driving passenger cars. Ford has set 2021 as the target year for their fully-autonomous driving vehicle. Within five years, electrical contractors could have service fleets that are driven autonomously, increasing safety and fuel-efficiency and allowing employees to work on other aspects of the job related to productivity and customer satisfaction. 

Additional reading on MIT’s water-to-air wireless communication » 


NECA Technology – the Project for Applied and Disruptive Technology, explores the world of technology and keeps members informed of what’s happening today, and of what will be launched in the not-too-distant future.  Dr. Joey Shorter has an extensive background in education and experience in translating the work of academics into understandable, practical ideas.