Stay Up-to-Date with These 5 Levels of Freight Automations


Generation 4.0 – the application of the Internet of Things, the use of advanced robotics, the application of advanced analytics of big data: place sensors in everything, create networkers everywhere, automate anything, and analyse everything to significantly improve performance and customer satisfaction.

Do you agree with the statement above?

If the answer is yes, you might agree that automation is an extent technology which can be used for any purposes in today’s global logistics and supply chain. There are 5 levels of technology that can be used to maintain your supply chain freight more autonomous. Here are 5 levels of automations you can apply in your organisation.  

Level 1 is feet ‘off’, hands ‘on’, eyes ‘on’, and brain ‘on’. It means that you need to enable your hands, eyes, and brain in order to run this technology. For example, radar-guided cruise control. It is an optional cruise control system for road vehicle, including freights. It uses sensor information to automatically adjusts to your vehicle speed in order to maintain a safe distance from vehicles ahead.

Level 2 is feet ‘off’, hands ‘off’, eyes ‘on’, and brain ‘on’. To enable level two, you need to keep an eye of what is in front of you and your brain should stand by, it means that you should focus while driving this automation. For example, radar-cruise + lane keeping. Toyota drivers’ already adopted this automation, so should you. You can add level 2 in your freight automation to ease your delivery of goods.

Level 3 is feet ‘off’, hands ‘off’, eyes ‘off’, but brain ‘on’ in slow self-driving speeds. The example of this level is conditional automation/ semi-self-driving freights. In this level, your vehicle manages most safety-critical driving functions in known (mapped) environmental conditions. Yet, you still need a human driver to manage vehicles operation.

Level 4 is feet ‘off’, hands ‘off’, eyes ‘off’, and brain ‘on’ in an unconstrained environment. Same as high automation, level 4 will enable you to perform in all safety-critical driving functions while monitoring environments/conditions in defined use cases. This is a level where there is full-driving automation. Per SAE, self-driving is fully possible in most cases such as road conditions and environments without need of human intervention.  However, a functional driver is still in place such as steering, wheel, brake pedal, etc.

Level 5 is feet ‘off’, hands ‘off’, eyes ‘off’, and brain ‘off’. Fully autonomous, level 5 will give an excellent experience when driving a freight. With full-time automated driving in all conditions without a human driver at all, no one expect to see this level any time soon – even some say possibly never. However, if one can invent this automation, there will be massive development in our 4.0 industry. There will be no feature driving equipment in this freight and will no longer look like freights of the past.

Read also: The Holiday Season: Logistics Roles During Peak Seasons

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