July 7, 2022
Outrider, which develops autonomous yard operations for logistics hubs, has announced the release of its next-generation autonomy kit. Supporting over-the-air software updates and field-swappable units, the company’s latest autonomy kit aims to deliver enterprise-class reliability, enable remote technical support, and service the system in the field – all at scale.
The new kit includes NVIDIA’s DRIVE autonomous vehicle platform for perception system processing; Ouster’s high-resolution lidar sensors for perception; and Yaskawa’s industrial robotic arm to connect and disconnect trailer lines. The kit can be installed and integrated on autonomy-ready Class 8 battery-electric yard trucks, Outrider said. The company uses the autonomy kit along with proprietary software to transform yard trucks into fully autonomous vehicles.
“Distribution yards are harsh industrial environments with around-the-clock operations, which means our autonomous system must be rugged, easy to service, and remotely supportable,” said Andrew Smith, founder and CEO of Outrider. “This robust autonomy kit is the next critical step in Outrider’s efforts to make yard operations more efficient, safer, and more sustainable for our Fortune 500, logistics-dependent customers.”
Outrider has also designed an autonomy-ready electric yard truck with Orange EV, with the company and Outrider’s customers purchasing 24 of the vehicles for expanded customer pilot programs and test operations with the new autonomy kit. In addition, customers planning future vehicle purchases can now order yard trucks with the “Autonomous Outrider Specification,” said Outrider.
“This is the single largest purchase of Class 8 electric vehicles specifically designed for autonomous yard operations in the industry and demonstrates how Outrider will be a catalyst for bringing thousands of zero-emission vehicles into the marketplace,” said Tom Baroch, head of global supply chain management at Outrider.”
The new autonomy kit and drive-by-wire yard truck incorporates design and operational experienced gained from more than 12,000 autonomous trailer moves conducted at customer sites and Outrider’s Advanced Testing Facility in Brighton, Colo. Using data conducted from these moves, Outrider said the kit is designed to address scenarios encountered by yard trucks in real distribution yards, ranging from the common to the obscure.
“This next-generation autonomy kit further highlights Outrider’s commitment to our customers for a more sustainable, resilient supply chain,” said Smith. “Our team of over 100 talented engineers is laser-focused on the features and safety-critical capabilities that will propel innovations for yard automation and the logistics and transportation sector at large.”
In addition to yard truck automation, Outrider can automate other manual tasks traditionally performed in a logistics yard, such as hitching and unhitching trailers, connecting and disconnecting trailer lines, interacting safely with loading docks, tracking trailer locations, integrating with supply chain management systems, anad centrally managing and monitoring system functions.
Outrider has raised $118 million in funding to date. For more details on the company, visit the Outrider website here.