Many asphalt contractors will be quick to tell you that they can’t find the workers they need to fill the open jobs they have.

It’s funny then, that these same contractors are the ones who are strongly opposed to bringing autonomous equipment to their jobsite.Many construction workers don’t realize that these “driverless” pieces of equipment will never be designed to take away jobs of construction workers, but are being deployed to help combat the skilled labor shortage and keep workers on the ground safe.

While autonomous technology has existed for many years in mining operations, more and more interest has developed from both customers and manufacturers on autonomous machine concepts for the asphalt industry and equipment designers are started to respond.Starting with soil compaction, manufacturers like Dynapac and Caterpillar, Inc.

Already have concept machines and software available to aid in this delicate activity. Basic soil compaction techniques leave equipment operators rolling blind as they make pass after pass, hoping that the desired density level is achieved throughout the area. Instead of relying on concrete data, operators use their own intuition. Compaction technology can help and autonomous compaction technology takes it one step further.