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Evolving Technologies and the Construction Landscape

Feb 7, 2019

The Chinese will begin selling an electric utility truck for $8950 in the United States. Available this year, the truck is called the F-150 Mini. The truck maker, Kaiyun Motors, is hoping that not every American has a need for a “giant” Ford F-150. Described as petite but spartan, the truck will travel 75 miles before needing a re-charge, and though the top speed is only 28 mph, it is able to carry 1,110 pounds of cargo, making it “an appealing low-cost utility vehicle”. It’s easy to envision such vehicles on construction sites, or especially on large plant/maintenance facilities. The tiny pickup could also appeal to farm owners, and some commuters, but seems made for construction sites, especially at that price.

mini f150


Watch video of the mini F-150 on YouTube »

See slide shows of robots and AI working in various settings and industries:

Ford Motor Company, USA, has announced plans for a fully electric Ford F-150 (regular, not mini version). That’s a bid deal! In 2017 alone, Ford sold almost 900,000 F-Series trucks. Ford says it intends to “future-proof the global juggernaut of commercial vehicles”. With a hybrid to launch in 2020, Ford isn’t releasing a delivery date for the fully battery-powered F-150. It should be noted that Tesla’s Elon Musk has a passion project “straight out of Blade Runner”, pickup truck. So far, it’s just an idea. 

Read why self-driving vehicles aren’t happening anytime soon » 

Reports come out daily, sometimes contradicting one another, on the arrival or full adoption of advanced technologies. Click on the slideshows of robots and AI working in various parts of the world, including the United States. Advancing technologies including robotics and autonomous vehicles are here to stay and will get better at what they are designed to do. Articles raise questions like “how will autonomous vehicles drive in the snow?” (see the ABC News article by Krisher, 02-05-19). A little research shows that since 2016 Lidar systems on certain autonomous vehicles have navigated snow, ice and heavy rain, with no problems at all. The construction landscape is changing and will only gain from technological developments as we know them, and those yet to come.            

Additional reading on autonomous vehicle testing by Ford at MCity »

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.