Recent advances in the area of automated driving (AD), vehicle electrification and digital logistics offer new promising opportunities for automation of outdoor logistic movements. This creates a large potential to increase economic efficiency, flexibility, safety and energy efficiency.
Accurate and trusted localisation
The technological challenge with yard automation is on precise, accurate, robust, limited latency, and trusted localisation, with a system challenge of delivering a solution that is standardised, scalable and modular. At TNO we investigate absolute and relative localisation solutions that fully replace current grid-based solutions, to enable automation in (semi)-closed environments and on public roads. For yard automation we are looking into sensor fusion frameworks using multiple sensors in the vehicle.
Distributed responsibility & control
Another challenge in yard automation is the transition from central control to layered distributed control, where the vehicle can interact with multiple other actors in larger ecosystems, e.g. a yard control tower, smart cargo or a smart intersection.
At TNO we research the system architecture of tactical layers and multi-objective multi-level motion planning solutions. The solution should be generic enough to cover multiple sites, implementations, and applications.
Yard automation in confined environments
Automating logistics on closed premises: a transformative technology so we are able to operate yards more efficiently and more safely in the future. These are relatively manageable environments to carry out tests.
The yard automation solution, designed for autonomous driving in restricted environments, offers significant benefits to truck owners and drivers alike. By handling tedious, repetitive tasks of the vehicle, it saves valuable working hours while simultaneously enhancing safety levels.
Cost-efficient Yard Automation Solutions (CEYAS)
At TNO we research yard application solutions that offer scalability, interoperability and cost efficiency. The continuity of distribution centers is compromised due to rising driver shortages and increasing flows of goods. TNO shows in a demo how distribution centers can operate more efficiently and how they can be future-proofed with a low-threshold form of yard automation.
In this demo, we applied the automated driving technology we developed with major OEMs to an existing trailer mover, the E-Move, developed by Verhagen in Leiden. WENOVA.EU supplies a special sensor to determine the angle between the trailer and E-Move to ensure optimal maneuvering. TNO, which developed the technical concept, is testing the automated trailer movers with supermarket chain Jumbo to discover what the efficiency benefits are in practice.