Surrounding all the hype, self-driving vehicles may prove useful. But not in the way you think

Photo by Adele Payman on Unsplash

I was watching an episode in the Bloomberg Quicktake series called Hello World. If you haven’t watched the series yet then start now.

In this episode, they talked about self-driving spraying vehicles. They were big contraptions. Which drove around a farm. And sprayed the plants. While the vehicle was moving along. The vehicle uses normal self-driving sensors. Like LIDAR and cameras and GPS. For extra comfort. It is a detailed map of the farm. Due to the automation of the device. One person can manage 5 of the vehicles using their laptop. If there is a problem the vehicle will send a notification to the device. So the human can go check up on the vehicle.

After the episode ended the did a quick review of the episode. And Ashlee talked about he didn’t believe something like that existed. He only known about it when some person on Instagram gave him information about the company.

An interesting mention about the encounter. Compared to Silicon Valley people. They were less braggadocious about how they made their product and their achievements. As they didn’t hype to the moon how much their device can do. The second is that they are selling these devices around the US. And soon internationally. This is fantastic compared to other self-driving cars. From the tech companies. Which sold close to none. With billions of dollars to play with.

So self-driving vehicles are useful not in the traditional way. Not in the driving you to grocery shop and back. But in the way collecting blueberries in a farm way. In the documentary.

In my opinion they did not talk much about the engineering feat of the vehicle. As they needed to create a vehicle. That sprayed on demand. And the engine that could power that. And all the other sensors on the device working together. That I think is better engineering work and the tech companies. As they stick a few cameras on the top of the car and call it a day. It showed in the video they manufacture the vehicle in house. The only tech companies that do that is Tesla. So this company is likely way ahead of many companies in silicon valley.

The only difference.

They don’t spend millions of dollars on hype and marketing. But innovating in their sector.

And only people in the agriculture space will know about it. Talking about agriculture technology. In the end interview. The host talked about she knew a friend that used robots to milk cows. She said the robot used lasers. And robot works how to milk the cow from there.

Ashlee gave another example. In which he knew a company in Idaho. Which had a robot collect rocks for them. This is important because of the sheer amount of land. Over time the ground will churn out rocks. So they need to remove the rocks from the land. So they can plant the crops properly.

From what I can see there is a lot of movement going on in the AgriTech space. Which they don’t generate the same amount of hype of a software silicon valley firm. But may do even more important stuff. Compared to an app that helps you get snacks to your house cheaper.

NOTE: Im thinking of publishing less on medium and publishing to my website only. If you want to keep up with my work and thoughts. You can check out my email list.

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Tobi Olabode

Tobi Olabode

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tobiolabode.com Interested in technology, Mainly writes about Machine learning for now. @tobiolabode3