Current shipping laws regulate transport truck drivers to a maximum of eleven hours of travel per day to ensure no drivers become excessively tired behind the wheel. Sleep deprivation can have the same symptoms on an individual as being intoxicated, including impaired vision and clouded judgment. Unfortunately, there is no breathalyzer or other type of test to determine sleep deprivation.
Even with regulations in place, drivers will surpass the eleven hours of travel time in order to meet outrageous deadlines and ensure packages are delivered on time. By breaking policies, the truck driver puts themselves, and every other individual on the road in danger. Previous Google employees Anthony Levandowski, Lior Ron, Don Burnette, and Claire Delaunay understood the need to provide safer practices to truck drivers while still meeting company deadlines, thus creating the company, Otto.
Otto developed a device which lets transport trucks maneuver by themselves, eliminating the need for a driver to sit behind the wheel at all times. With this new technology, eleven hour day trips can turn into twenty-four hour day trips, shortening the delivery time of all shipments.
Otto’s technology is not integrated into new trucks, but instead attaches to existing trucks to give them self-driving capabilities. A device is placed at the top of the truck’s cab allowing for sensors to get a clear scan of the road. This unobstructed view of the road ahead is currently superior to the view of other modern self-driving cars.
Additionally kits will be sold for a fraction of what new trucks go for, allowing shipping companies to upgrade their current fleet without spending a fortune.
At present, Otto’s technology only works on highways and still requires a driver to take control during urban deliveries. Because of this, shipping companies will still need to hire drivers to sit in a cabin for the full extent of the journey to watch over the truck until the truck upgrades to full self-driven.
Vision guided capabilities, similar to the technology found in Otto’s device, are just one of Eclipse Automation many machine vision solutions. With a vast experience in optics and image processing, Eclipse can provide you with the highest quality and precision regardless of project size.
Source: Popular Mechanics