Autonomous Club Car
A safe, automated solution for transporting people and moving materials on construction sites
United Rentals––the world’s largest equipment rental company, with a fleet of over 600,000 units––set out to start automating their vehicles to provide additional value for customers. Our engineers started with several vehicles, one of which was a Club Car. It would provide an efficient, resource-saving approach to transporting people and moving materials around construction sites.
- Identifying the ideal sensor package for the job and creating a tablet-based application for control
- Creating a custom technology package to drive the vehicle, including SICK and Velodyne LiDAR, RTK GPS, and a CompactRIO control system running LabVIEW FPGA and LabVIEW Real-Time code
- Integrating the system with ROC, a Fresh-authored path-planning navigation app
Reliable navigation and operation
The path planning software is a tablet-based application called Robot Operational Control (ROC). Using the same sensors and cRIO system allowed Fresh to leverage the existing code base and engineering expertise.
Each vehicle takes engineering ingenuity to figure out how to control the vehicle components. Each use case takes custom engineering to build the driving algorithm. But by leveraging our existing knowledge base and tools, we created an extensible, scalable solution that can be easily adapted for other similar vehicles.
Showcasing the technology with the power of XR
To illustrate the Club Car’s autonomous capabilities during its debut at NIWeek 2019, we created a 3D model that guides viewers through some of the vehicle’s autonomous features and how they work. Using various visual anchors on the vehicle and a tablet, users can view information about the different sensors and technology under the hood, with text and video featuring Fresh engineers who provide more information about the engineering solution.