For autonomous vehicles, objects in the rear-view mirror are closer than they appear. Self-driving technology is already here. But it’s not in cars. It’s in autonomous trucks.
For example, Komatsu got off to an early start. Komatsu introduced its “Innovative Autonomous Haulage Vehicle” in 2016 at Minexpo. Since then, Komatsu has begun to operate these trucks in the mines of Australia.
Similarly, John Deere is moving forward with driverless tractors.
Another breakthrough is on US highways, with Peloton (the software company, not the exercise bike). Peloton is providing companies with machine-to-machine communication that allows trucks to draft off one another in sequence like bicycles in a race. When the first truck brakes, the second, third, and fourth trucks can follow in lockstep. This technology, known as platooning, is now being used by Fortune 500 companies and truckers, and is backed by companies like Intel, BP, Lockheed Martin, Nokia, UPS, Volvo, Mitsui, Schlumberger, and others.
At Cambridge Capital, we are looking at many new companies in this realm. And other large companies like Ford are looking to invest in these disruptive technologies.
So in sum — autonomous vehicles are coming. It’s just not in exactly the way you might expect.