Words By: Drone Major
The recent snowstorms, the Beast from the East and Storm Emma mean that ploughs are needed to clear snow out of roads and public places. However, operators may struggle getting to the vehicles in the first place.
Robert Garbett said that autonomous unmanned ground vehicles would be able to work without the need of an operator.
He said, 'as the recent cold snap settles and we count the cost of being ill-prepared, again, my mind settled on a story which was shared with me at a business continuity meeting in Cambridgeshire. 'The story revolves around an ingenious idea to solve the issue of not being able to get snow ploughs to the worst-hit areas of the region fast enough as they were located in a central compound area. 'A plan was executed to deploy snow ploughs to strategic points around the region ahead of an expected snowstorm which arrived in force in the early hours of the next morning. 'It seemed like a near perfect idea... until they realised the drivers were all snowed in at home!'
'[This story] has at its core a recurring issue which has never really been solved. How do you get driver and snow plough to the right place at the right time so that the arteries of our country can be kept clear of snow? 'Of course, until now, there has not really been a workable solution, but what if we didn't need a driver? 'The advent of surface drones - or autonomous vehicles, as they are often referred to - gives us an opportunity to remedy this problem once and for all by making all snow ploughs autonomous. 'No driver, no problem - and they will be able to work through the night and day tirelessly clearing and salting our roads so that we are no longer able to blame the snow for not being able to get to work.'