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How to use driverless technology in the new crown virus pneumonia epidemic

In the current epidemic situation, the application of unmanned technology for distribution and transportation reduces people’s going out and close contact with each other. Many technological products driven by unmanned technology have also come in handy, working on the front line of the fight against the epidemic. Great help.

“This article is reprinted with the authorization of Auto-Bit (Public ID: Auto-Bit). Please contact the source for reprinting.” Original author Chen Nianhang; edited by Yiou, for reference only by people in the industry.

In the previously popular American drama “Chernobyl”, in order to clean up the graphite debris on the roof of the nuclear explosion center, scientists from the former Soviet Union invited a remotely controlled lunar rover and a police robot developed by West Germany. .

These high-tech products with the prototype of unmanned driving are actually replacing human beings in danger in the face of disasters and reducing the loss of life and property as much as possible.

Today, more than 30 years later, China is facing a severe challenge: COVID-19.

The whole country is fighting the epidemic with all its strength, building hospitals, establishing quarantine areas, closing cities, closing roads… All measures are to prevent the further spread of the virus.

In this special period when it is necessary to minimize human-to-human contact and at the same time ensure the operation of people’s basic life, many technological products driven by driverless technology have also come in handy, working on the front line of the fight against the epidemic.

From the current application cases, unmanned delivery robots are a relatively popular product form.

Self-driving technology in response to the new crown virus epidemic

Robots deliver food and medicine

Not long ago, Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital welcomed two special “new employees”. They can achieve autonomous navigation, are not afraid of viruses, and are not afraid of getting sick. They are delivery robots without emotion.

The hospital also named the two robots: “Pingping” and “An’an”.

These two robots are mainly engaged in the delivery of medicines, meals, collection of bedding and medical waste in the hospital area, reducing the frequency of contact between medical staff and patients and reducing the risk of cross-infection with the virus.

They are service robot products developed by Guangzhou Saite Intelligent Technology. They are equipped with the hardware and software systems required to realize unmanned driving. They can automatically open and close doors, take elevators, avoid obstacles, and charge autonomously. and other functions.

When working, the medical staff only needs to put the item to be delivered in its warehouse, tell it which ward to go to, and it can deliver the item to the designated room.

From the perspective of work efficiency, each robot is equivalent to 3 delivery workers, which saves labor to a certain extent.

In addition, the interior of the two robots has an automatic disinfection and purification function, and the shell material is anti-corrosion, which can be sprayed with alcohol or wiped with a disinfectant towel for external disinfection.

Because of these advantages, the hospital said that new robot “employees” will be introduced in the future.

Similar to Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital, Hangzhou No. 1 People’s Hospital also introduced delivery robots to deliver meals and supplies to patients in quarantine areas, blocking the chain of “human-to-human transmission” of the new coronavirus.

In an epidemic isolation point in Haishu District, Ningbo, Zhejiang, delivery robots also came in handy.

The food delivery robot has four layers of trays, and the first layer can meet the food delivery of one room. Every time the robot is dispatched, it can complete the food delivery of 4 rooms in a short time.

This greatly reduces the frequency of direct contact between staff and pneumonia patients.

In addition, at the centralized medical observation point of the Party School of the Hangzhou Municipal Party Committee, robots are also used to deliver meals to serve three meals a day for the personnel at the isolation point in cooperation with manual delivery.

unmanned delivery vehicle

In addition to food and medicine delivery services, express delivery has also become a rigid need during the fight against the epidemic.

At the end of August last year, Hubei Xiantao launched a postal intelligent unmanned delivery vehicle. In this epidemic, this vehicle has played an important role in reducing the close contact between delivery personnel and customers.

The delivery truck is about 2 meters long, 0.8 meters wide, and 1.5 meters high, with a maximum speed of 15 kilometers per hour. It can load up to 200 kilograms of mail at a time. It has 30 parcel compartments, and small compartments adjacent to each other in the longitudinal direction. It can be turned into a large-capacity compartment by removing the shelf to meet the delivery needs of different specifications of mail.

The car body is designed with waterproof and dustproof hardware, which can complete the delivery operation normally in different weather environments and ensure that the mail will not be damaged.

Before the delivery starts, the staff will sterilize the unmanned delivery vehicle, and then put the express items that need to be delivered into the warehouse, and each trip can deliver 20-30 express items.

At present, this unmanned delivery vehicle circulates 4 times a day, 2 times in the morning and 2 times in the afternoon, and can deliver nearly 100 couriers every day.

During the epidemic, vehicles and pedestrians have been greatly reduced, so the driving environment of unmanned delivery vehicles is simpler and more efficient.

Unmanned disinfection and temperature measurement robot

There are also some unmanned robots that are active in hospitals, stations, airports and other public places, engaged in disinfection, temperature measurement, patrol and other related work.

The disinfection robot launched by Shanghai Titanium Robot has been used 7 x 24 hours in 6 hospitals in the Wuhan epidemic center and the frontline battlefields in other areas.

This robot integrates disinfection methods such as ultra-dry atomized hydrogen peroxide, ultraviolet disinfection, and plasma air filtration.

Gosuncn’s patrol robots have also successively launched epidemic prevention and control modes in airports, stations, squares, and communities in many places across the country, performing tasks such as mobile infrared temperature measurement and screening, cyclic broadcast reminders, and remote visual command.

At present, these related technologies and products are only small-scale applications and have not been promoted on a large scale, but in the near future, the market will explode.

And, that’s just some of the products we’ve seen put into operations.

There are still many areas in which driverless technology can be applied. Currently, due to the limitations of policies and regulations, the immaturity and reliability of the technology itself, and other factors, it has not been able to contribute to the battle against the epidemic.

But we can also boldly imagine that at a certain point in the future, after policies, regulations and technologies are mature, which unmanned products can take responsibility for unforeseen natural and man-made disasters.

Self-driving technology meets future challenges

Unmanned delivery in the last mile to welcome the outbreak?

In this epidemic, basically all the people are asked not to go out as much as possible to reduce the risk of infection.

But the problem is that the public’s demand for fresh vegetables, daily necessities, takeaways, etc. will not stop, but has ushered in a surge in online orders.

At this time, if the unmanned distribution of the last kilometer can be operated on a large scale, the delivery of these materials can be realized unmanned, and the people can receive the materials without leaving their homes.

This reduces people’s going out and close contact with each other, which is of great benefit to the fight against the epidemic.

In fact, there have also been cases of takeaway delivery workers infected with the pneumonia virus in this epidemic. If unmanned delivery vehicles can replace the work of takeaway delivery workers, their safety will be greatly improved.

Many people compare the impact of the new coronavirus epidemic and the “SARS” epidemic 17 years ago on the market:

The “SARS” crisis has played a certain role in promoting the rise of e-commerce platforms such as Ali and JD.com, because people are increasingly trusting the online shopping model; and this time, the new crown pneumonia epidemic is likely to promote unmanned delivery. The market will enter the stage of large-scale application in the future.

Moreover, this market is also blessed by many giants. Meituan, JD.com, Ali Cainiao and other platforms have invested in technology and resources in this field. This is a market with huge demand.

Driverless Cargo Service

In this special period when the whole country is “declaring the land as a prison”, the whole province of Hubei has also entered a state of blockade.

At this time, the supply of medical supplies and the guarantee of living supplies will inevitably go all out in freight logistics.

Whether it is inter-provincial or intra-provincial distribution of materials, precious time must be scrambled, and the supply of resources must be guaranteed, otherwise it will cause social panic.

If driverless trucks and trucks can operate on a large scale at this time, it will greatly reduce the workload of freight drivers. Moreover, the machine does not need to rest or doze off, and safety will be guaranteed.

During this epidemic, many freight drivers have faced difficulties and became part of the “retrograde” at the risk of being infected. They raced against time, worked fast, and drove thousands of kilometers for long distances, in order to deliver the supplies to the most needed areas as soon as possible.

The reality is that many companies engaged in the research and development of unmanned freight transport technology have not been able to truly promote these technologies to commercialization and normal operation, so they are somewhat at a loss in the face of this sudden epidemic.

Don’t be discouraged, the future is worth looking forward to.

Driverless taxis make a big splash?

During this epidemic, all transportation means such as buses, subways, ferries, and online car-hailing in Wuhan have been suspended, but the travel needs of the people still exist.

In order to solve this problem, Wuhan Passenger Management Office organized Dongfeng Travel, T3 Travel, Cao Cao Travel, and Didi Chuxing to set up emergency social security fleets to serve community residents voluntarily.

The reality is that these fleets also need human drivers, which increases the risk of infection to a certain extent, but there is no other way at the moment.

Just imagine, if driverless car rental is truly realized, when such a crisis is encountered again, these emergency fleets can be replaced with driverless fleets, without the need for drivers, to protect them from cross-infection.

People who need to travel only need to book a driverless taxi, and the whole process does not need to contact other people.

Similarly, negative pressure ambulances and ordinary ambulances, which played a very important role in this epidemic, can also reduce the number of drivers and reduce the risk of infection if they are unmanned.

driverless sanitation vehicle

In the face of such a major epidemic that endangers people’s health, the situation of sanitation workers is very dangerous.

They have to go out to clean the streets, take out the garbage (especially medical waste), and be exposed for long periods of time, which increases the risk of infection.

At this time, they may be looking forward to the emergence of unmanned road sweepers and sanitation vehicles to replace their high-risk jobs in special times.

There are also many domestic companies that are developing such technology products. In the final analysis, it is because the technology is not mature enough, so there is no large-scale investment.

This epidemic may be an opportunity, and companies need to speed up their development pace and promote products to be truly practical.

Of course, the above are just some of the more obvious examples, and there are many areas where there are opportunities that we cannot see and cannot be exhausted here.

Of course, these imaginations will not be just imaginations forever. Perhaps in the next crisis, these driverless products will really come in handy.

Self-driving technology: the beauty of life

If you go back to the original research engine of unmanned technology, it is actually more military use: unmanned fighter planes, unmanned tanks, unmanned submarines…

Civilian unmanned technology research has attracted more attention. In fact, it is thanks to the large-scale unmanned vehicle challenge organized by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 2002.

The original purpose of this challenge was to realize the autonomous driving of military vehicles, but it turned into a major change in the history of human travel.

Today, after the exploration of major enterprises and related professionals, the application scenarios of driverless technology have been very rich.

The distribution robots and disinfection robots that we mentioned earlier in this epidemic have also benefited from the great progress of driverless technology.

No one can foresee what kind of natural and man-made disasters will happen in the future. When the next crisis comes, we hope that unmanned driving technology can play a more important role in it, replace more work of human beings, and reduce the risk of human beings facing dangerous situations. pressure.

Borrowing from Bosch’s brand statement: “Science and technology make life beautiful”, driverless technology is also to help people live a better life.

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