Autonomous Vehicles and The Transportation Chain

Mostly when we talk about the rise of autonomous vehicles, we think of how they might benefit society out on the open road.  Whilst that’s undoubtedly true, they also have the potential to hugely change the production process itself.

You see, currently all of the 80 million or so cars made around the world have to be driven from the production line to the car forecourt.  It’s a process that Swedish tech company Semcon hope to automate, with cars driving themselves off the production line, into the shipping area and all of the various other stages of the logistics process.

Born to drive

The project is known as Born to Drive, and is a collaboration between technology companies, government agencies, component manufacturers and Volvo Cars.

Semcon themselves oversaw the technical aspects of the project, and specifically the development of control algorithms, vehicle positioning and the communication with the traffic routing system.

At the moment, the system is capable of steering vehicles from the production line to a collection point where the vehicle can be transported further along the supply chain.  The team hope to develop things further and streamline other aspects of the process, from moving the vehicles onto trucks or even onto container ships.

What’s more, the system works with sensors that already exist in most vehicles today, therefore no extra hardware is required for it to function.

“What makes Born to Drive unique is that it is entirely a software solution. This makes the system both cost-efficient and scalable. Since there is already a working prototype, the system could be implemented within just a few years,” the company say.

It’s a fascinating project and provides a fresh angle on the benefits we can derive from autonomous transportation.  Check out the video below to learn more about Born to Drive.