Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles If you visit California, you might be inclined to go to Disneyland, or jump in your convertible and take Highway 1 up the coast, or maybe make a pilgrimage to Yosemite. All very fine choices. But if you're the kind of person who ravels in our planet's extremes, then it's Route 395 that you're after. This one glorious road will carry you from Death Valley's desert floor to sky high views of Mount Whitney. You can see the 5,000-year-old bristle cone pines, the oldest living organisms. Or the bizarre tufa towers of Mono Lake. And true to California's boom and bust spirit, you can saunter around the ghost town of Bodie. What a novel experience to find an empty American city, where all the businesses are shut down. To do 395 up right, it helps to have a guide. And mine is a man named Jan and his crew. The pass back here. Haryn. Let's step. Tidy up And Lemmy, the hardest partying dog of all time. Jan agreed to show me some of what 395 has to offer, but only if we agreed not to disclose any locations. My name is Jan Zwierstra. I'm an industrial designer out of LA, and I spend a lot of time camping and a lot of time in the Eastern Sierra. It's a place I love. And sometimes I'm known as 395 North because this, yep! My Instagram account. And I don't like to be known as that, but I'm trying to use it to set a good example and do more with it than just social media. Where did we end up camping? We got here late last night. I wasn't sure where we are. This is BLM land right on the outskirts of the national forest. And it's one of my favorite places in the world. Basically everything outdoors wrapped into one. Yeah. Good thing about California, man. Oh man, we have so much national forest and public land that you can literally just cruise out and find a place to camp. It's ours. What I wish it was mine is Jan's sweet truck. It's a 2019 Ford ranger, has about 200 Watts of solar in it and a fridge and has everything that an RV has except for a toilet, but just on a smaller, simple scale. You drive us around day-to-day in LA and then just roll out when you want. Yeah. It's my daily driver. Handles great, and then when I'm done with work, I can just bail and go camping and out. So the camper basically has only what I need. Think of it as backpacking with a car. Yeah. The fridge has a couple of compartments. This is just the kitchen box, stove, utensils, and a bunch of stuff. This one has just dry food. Then when you get inside, there's a bed. The bed flips up. So you've got tons of room in here. This awning is phenomenal. If you want to pull that over. That is cool. Let me just pop that up. Sort of. So home on wheels. Yeah. This is my vacation house. Let's do this. So nice man. Even with his nomad lifestyle, Jan faces the same big question as the rest of us. Do the internet and smartphones have to ruin everything when you find the super special, beautiful spots is that you busted out a map and like, look at where might be cool to go, or is it word of mouth and just getting to know people, the locals and. If I see a dirt road, I just want to go down. So a lot of this is just aimless rambling. It's a desire to just see something, check that out. For some reason, it's more fulfilling than getting a recommendation from somebody or there's tons of apps and websites now, road trip apps, camping apps, they proliferate it. The knowledge is accessible on the internet, right? I used to fight the geo tags, and I would get really pissed off and be like, why are you posting this place? It's going to blow up. It's going to get trashed. Now I've realized that you, you can't fight it. The internet has just shrunk the world. So we're not going to stop it. We're not going to stop people from going there. So I'm a lot more focused in conversation now with trying to set a good example. When you go, pick up your trash. When you're pooping out in the wilderness, don't leave your toilet paper on the top, you know. Make sure you follow good steps for leaving no trace. As a thank you for this quick guide to pooping etiquette, we made Jan, Haryn and Lemmy some tacos and we all took in the night sky and knocked back a couple of drinks. Take that apocalypse. The thing about good times and serenity in 2020 is that they're fleeting at best. After we split up from Jan and continued on our way, smoke started to envelop us. The plus side was that our RV no longer smelled like feet. The downside was breathing. My man David here suggested that we try and outflank the smoke by cutting through Yosemite. Without a reservation, we had to talk our way in. Yes. No stopping, no getting out. Don't go to the valley. Yeah, no problem. We just, yeah, we just wanted to get through. It was a beautiful choice. Glad we got out of that smoke. Whoa. But not quite as effective as we had hoped. Fast forward four hours or so, and we had managed to trade the smoky majesty of Yosemite for the smoky, um, Look at it. Strip malls of the Central Valley. We have made it sort of out of the smoke all the way across Yosemite National Park and here to the gorgeous Central Valley of California. We're off to see a kind of surprising tech startup that is making some pretty strange machines to serve all the growers out in this region. And where was the, where here and this near Fresno. This is California farm country, right? We're just South of Fresno town called Kingsburg. So we're right in the Central Valley of California, very, very large farming Valley here. It's kind of considered the bread basket of the world. The central Valley stretches out over about 20,000 square miles. And the farmers here produce about one fourth of the food that Americans eat, including a whole lot of fruits and nuts. Tell me a little bit of the background of guys. I know some of this is like a family business that the roots of this go back ways. Tell me kind of like how we got, so it was essentially like a startup, I guess. Yeah, definitely. So the founder of our company is Dave Crinklaw and he started the business back in 1982. He started with his basically, with his dad was commercial spraying of trees and vineyards. Got to the point where our biggest challenge was labor. Just the shortage of it really. He was forced into innovating and he had had this idea for quite some time about doing a driverless sprayer. And it finally got to the point where he said, "You know what? I either got to get out of this business or I'm going to innovate." Organic or not, crops need to be sprayed. And this process has to take place a few times a year. This means hiring a lot of people to work long hours under serious pressure. And so just like the tech bros to the North, GUSS decided to solve all of its problems with robots. On this like labor points, you guys have set this up where you can have somebody you know, track and that one person can monitor, I think like eight of these. In order to operate GUSS, you have one guy or girl that sits in a pickup and they monitor from a laptop computer. So that person is basically just watching all the vehicles on the screen. They can monitor up to eight of them at a time while they're out there, spraying in the orchard. And so that user interface really provides them with all the information they need to make sure that the machines are safe and that they're doing the correct job. So it tells them what speed they're driving, the engine RPM, the amount of gallonage per acre that they're applying at any given time. So if any one of the machines has an issue, it's going to send an alert to that laptop. Much like a self-driving car, these beasts use GPS, LiDAR and cameras to see and navigate the world around them. They also rely on pre-built maps of the orchards for extra guidance. GUSS builds the machines right here and then takes them out for robot training on this orchard next door. It's here that the company learns if the machines will behave and do as their software and human masters command. So this is kind of like the, this is the test orchard where you guys put it through the paces and work on their technology? Yeah. So this is our test orchard right here. It's right by our building as you can see in the background. So every new machine, as it comes off the assembly line, it's put through a commissioning test right here. We test all the sensors on the machine, autonomous computer, all the safety systems make sure it's doing what it's doing prior to when it's delivered to a customer. So what's it doing now? So right now he's doing a test spray. So he's just turning the water on to make sure that the system comes up to pressure, spraying water out of the nozzles, just to make sure it's all functioning properly. Okay. It's got like a crazy turbine at the back or? Yeah. So it's basically just a big fan and that fan's driven off of the Cummins diesel motor. And it just basically creates a big airflow. GUSS is already selling these vehicles to brave modern farmers. And people of the world over have taken notice of its machines. And have you just sold them in the central Valley or like throughout the US or even overseas, or where like where are they going? Yeah so, right now the majority of our machines are here in California in the Central Valley.