Self-driving-car technology won’t stop at everyday transportation. The systems that will likely make their way to ride-sharing services first have the potential to aid numerous industries, and Yeti Snow Technology announced on Monday that it’s working to bring automated snowplows to market.
Yeti, a Norwegian company owned jointly by a company called Semcon and another called Øveraasen, tested its snowplows for the first time this month at an airport north of Oslo, Norway. It’s a great location since, well, it snows a lot there. The self-driving snowplows cleared the airport’s runway of snow with ease, and Yeti said the machines can clear 357,500 square meters per hour. The plows are smart enough to work in a formation and can clear snow as a team, and the company boasted they’ll operate in any weather conditions.
That’s a bold claim. Many self-driving cars in the United States haven’t tackled the cold and snowy elements found across the country.
Standard snowplows are used and fitted with self-driving actuators. A control system creates digital plans that are downloaded into the self-driving vehicles via a 4G modem. Operators are also able to remotely control the plows from a control center.
Yeti worked with Semcon to develop the plows. The companies didn’t provide a timeline for when they’d like to commercialize the technology, but Uber’s self-driving technology pressed pause on Monday following news that one of its self-driving vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. That incident could affect the whole self-driving industry.