What is GPS Machine Control?

Construction has been hard to automate because of its distributed nature. Cloud computing, cellular and satellite connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT) have closed this gap, and construction equipment machine control is automating heavy and light equipment. This automation is coming to market in several categories:

  • Grade control—equipment or attachments are controlled to produce end results through precise cut and fill measurements, as laid out in a model
  • Teleoperation or drive-by-wire enables a worker within or beyond the line of sight of the equipment to operate it from a remote controller. This may amount to operating traditional controls as found in the cab or by directing the work of more automated equipment with some functional autonomy
  • 3D Paving—For asphalt and concrete roadways, this technology goes beyond grade control by also calculating and controlling the amount of material deposited to fill the distance between the base gradient and the finished pavement
  • Autonomous operation—In repetitive and controlled environments, construction equipment can perform specific tasks unaided and without an operator in the cab
  • Autonomous steering—enables a piece of equipment to navigate on a site and, generally with an operator in the cab, more precisely grade or compact a project than could be achieved with human steering