Taisei, SoftBank spearhead driverless, 5G construction machinery

Japanese construction giant Taisei Corp. and SoftBank Group Corp. plan to use 5G networks to run remotely operated construction machinery in land-reclamation projects in Japan as early as the autumn, the companies said this week, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun.

The approach will be enabled by 5G, the new communications standard that allows the faster transmission of large amounts of data than is achieved with existing wireless technology.

The companies hope the it will ease labour shortages and speed up construction projects, and plan to roll it out to construction sites across Japan in the early 2020s, reported the news site. 

They tested a driverless, autonomous excavator between January and March in Mie Prefecture, which led to their decision to develop the technology.

According to Yomiuri Shimbun, because 5G networks have yet to be built, SoftBank’s portable base stations will be used to create proprietary communications networks at construction sites.

Image: For illustration, a Bodine excavator attachment (Rhododendrites/CC BY-SA 4.0)

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