With the world’s leading tech and transportation companies battling for the cutting edge in
autonomous vehicles, the future looks bright for a wide range of self-driving cars and trucks.
After autonomous vehicles make the eventual transition to roadways, the construction industry
seems like a natural next choice for this powerful technology. Due to the the more complicated
tasks and movements of most heavy construction equipment, like excavators, backhoe loaders,
and cranes, trucks and dump trucks would be the most comparable vehicles to the highway
focused trucking the leaders of autonomous truck design, Google’s Waymo and Uber’s Otto.
Keeping Track of the Many Types of Dump Trucks
The sheer number and variety of dump trucks make them a more complicated resource to
manage. The standard dump truck with 2-3 axles and easier maneuverability, the super dump
truck with 4-7 axles for heavier loads, the articulated dump truck for rougher terrain, the transfer
dump truck for towing extra trailers, the dump truck and pup for standalone dumping, and the list
goes on with endless combinations based on the needs of the job. Imagine being able to
organize and summon these trucks and their operators with an app.
Similarly to Otto and Waymo, dump truck autonomy would not replace drivers, but would
simply automate the majority of the highway driving and leave the more precise tasks to trained
drivers. A new breed of fleet management capabilities is on the horizon, and combined with
vehicle autonomy, it could revolutionize the construction industry.