“Driverless trucks could be a common sight on many roads within the next decade” - Josè Viegas, International Transport Forum.
More work is required on standards and legislation but it is evident how cars and trucks manufacturers are investing heavily into driving automation (VIDEO).
The next evolutionary leap of commercial road transport is seemingly within reach but how could the automation engineering trend really affect the car transport industry, and, more interesting “Do you think we would change the way we load cars on the trailers?”
The trailers sector has seen innovations in the years with the new materials for construction, and introduction of several electronic systems like: ABS, EBS, Optiturn, start/stop automatic switch off of the engine, laser sensors for roof clearance on enclosed trailers, and last but not least self locking cylinders or the Rolfo Airdrive.
The introduction of the above has seen little resistance due to the increased safety and reduced some cost to the operations.
Automous loading could be welcome if it guaranteed a 0% damage rate and 100% load factor exploitation.
To be clear, we do set aside the feasibility (by now) for a project to perform fully automated loadings which remains a provocative title.
It would require (to start with):
1. first of all car manufacturers releasing 3D MODELS of their vehicles with all variants and options to transport companies / transporter manufacturing, for an accurate loading software to be engineered.
Even then, loading a cartransporter is NOT ONLY about setting cars and decks into position.
There are several skills and knowledge for the operator to keep in mind, often evolving with experience and considering variables that change with the ambient conditions too.
2. Establishing common quality standards for the whole industry is a commitment shared by the logistics service providers and the manufacturers to improve operational efficiencies by reducing duplication of activities due to the lack of harmonization.
Indeed a sort of application of such standard practices (CAR SECURING, LASHING, CHOCKS usage… ) has been achieved but it is still far from being detailed and achieved across all the vehicle manufacturers requirements as every country keeps his own best common practice.
From our point of view the driver will continue to keep an essential role for the next two decades into car transportation, as loadings is tied up to the very human skills of adapting to different working environments and conditions.
AI is improving, and this article could be written by a BOT sooner than a car carrier being loaded without a driver.
Meanwhile Rolfo design team focus more on increasing the ease of use car-carriers by simplifying and reducing manual handling with self locking systems.
We invite you to stay in contact with us, feel free sending us your point of view or innovative proposal !
Unirolfo is the ROLFO official sales agent, for new products Rolfo cartransporters, Rolfo vehicle carriers, Rolfo truckcarriers, Rolfo enclosed transporters, Rolfo car transporter, Rolfo semi-trailer
in the UK, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Israel and Southafrica.
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