The article linked to this blog is in reference to a specific company, 5D Robotics, and their business of turning industrial machines into autonomous and semi-autonomous machines. Driverless cars have a long road ahead of them including: legislation, programing, networking. While the technology and the ability to make autonomous automobiles, the infrastructure is not.
However, the industrial world is different. A wide variety of companies have machines that with the proper software and devices can complete their tasks unmanned. These machines are incredibly safe. Humans wear RFID tags which prevent the machines from running accidentally into anyone. The machines run on a network and use a GPS tracking to maintain its location. These machines also use a protocols allowing the machines to talk to one another.
This means in the not too distant future we may see semi-autonomous construction sites. Machines will be able to run and operate construction tasks. One day building construction could be completely robotic. Currently other industries, particularly dangerous ones, use autonomous machines. Mining and oil companies use autonomous vehicles to save on costs or for safety.
Machine-to-Machine communication, or the Internet of Things, is still in it’s infancy. In home and out of home, we will begin to see more industries move to humanless labor. This will be a loss of jobs for people but these are dangerous jobs. In the long term, it will be machines that will take care of most tasks. Wherever we are in history, we are always on the cusp of the future. Whatever we have now will be obsolete. Let’s see how far machines can help humanity.