United Rentals Inc. (NYSE: URI), the largest equipment rental company in the world, and 5D Robotics Inc., a leading provider of automation for the defense and energy sectors, have teamed up to bring the latest autonomous driving technology to United Rentals equipment operations.
The 5D Robotics claims that its product prevents collisions, enables multiple vehicles to follow a person or lead vehicle (“wagon-training”), and allows operators to quickly and easily create and modify autonomous paths throughout a facility. Furthermore, 5D Robotics states that its system is much more accurate and reliable than GPS and can function in rain, dust, snow, and fog.
“We’re very excited to be moving forward with 5D Robotics,” said Helge Jacobsen, United Rentals’ vice president of operational excellence. “Seeing this reliable, safe, autonomous vehicle technology function in our rental yards has been an eye-opener.”
“The equipment can move from station to station within the yard,” Jacobsen said. “The integration with 5D offers substantial opportunities to improve our efficiency and safety, as well as provide new analytical and mapping tools to our own branches and eventually to our customers.”
“5D has pioneered precision positioning and autonomous driving software that performs reliably in difficult, dynamic environments,” said David Bruemmer, 5D Robotics’ co-founder and CEO. He said he believes that 5D has the best technology and team to take on this partnership.
“By adding our cross-platform plug-and-play modules, we can provide autonomy and enhance safety across United Rentals’ fleet,” he added. “We are excited to expand the application of autonomous vehicles into the equipment rental space with the industry leader. Our two companies share a passion to bring this innovative technology to hundreds of United Rentals locations, and, ultimately, to their customers.”