The logistics business is expensive. Add to it the limited number of specialist interstate drivers available, the business is set to become even more expensive. But with self-driving vehicles almost on the horizon, it is only a matter of time before we have self-driving trailer trucks set to disrupt the logistics industry. And it seems that Uber is working on just that.
A recently published patent from Uber describes a sensor assembly for self-driving trailer trucks. The sensors will be placed around the trailer and reduce the number of blind spots.
The sensor assembly will include sensors like LIDAR, a number of cameras, a radar system, proximity sensors, infrared sensors, sonar sensors, and the like. These sensors will capture an all-around view of the surroundings of the truck, and allow a control system to autonomously control and drive the trailer truck.
But, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a stringent set of regulations for cargo trucks, and trailer trucks, requiring multiple light indicators. So, the sensors will also include lighting elements that comply with these regulations. The sensors will be located in place of brake lights, parking lights, and indicator lamps.
This sounds very routine, but the fact that Uber is actively working on self-driving cargo trucks can change the face of the logistics industry. Self-driving vehicles will mean no more tired drivers, no more stoppages, lower downtime, and faster shipping. A win-win for all. We can only wait and see how soon this tech becomes a reality.
Publication Number: US20190118814A1
Patent Title: Cargo trailer sensor assembly
Publication date: 2019-04-25
Filing date: 2017-10-23
Inventors: Matthew Shaw Wood, Nancy Yung-Hui Sun, Zachias Rauch Vawter
Assignee: Uber Technologies Inc.