Outrider, a developer of autonomous yard operations systems, announced the next generation of its AI-driven perception technology. The system is designed to help manage extremely fluid yard operations for freight distribution centers and other logistics hubs.

The company said it is the first-to-market yard automation solution that performs fully autonomous, zero-emission trailer moves.

"Because distribution yards are complex outdoor environments, Outrider's autonomous system is designed to work side-by-side with many types of actors, including other yard trucks, over-the-road semi-trucks, trailers, delivery trucks, golf carts, pallets, personnel, and more," said Andrew Smith, Outrider founder and CEO.

"Our latest perception technology enables Outrider's system to autonomously move customer trailers and containers with greater levels of efficiency and safety than ever before."

Real-World Input from Fortune 500 Distribution Yards

Outrider’s new AI-drive perception technology is “trained” by millions of data points collected from Fortune 500 customer distribution yards. Using this data, Outrider's yard automation solution understands, anticipates, and interacts with the diversity of fixed and moving vehicles, people and systems in the yard.

The updated perception system allows Outrider to achieve critical safety and performance objectives for commercial driverless operations in 2024, the company said in a press release.

Outrider's latest perception technology identifies specific characteristics of yard actors, such as orientation, position, and velocity, anticipates their trajectories, and responds to their actions using predictable, human-like behaviors.

Data collection from a wide variety of distribution yards feeds Outrider's proprietary deep-learning models, which create the neural networks for the autonomous system to automate yard tasks with increasing intelligence and precision.

"The Outrider System is constantly learning from real-world experience and applying that knowledge to how it operates in those environments," explained Luciano Spinello, senior director of autonomy and artificial Intelligence at Outrider.

"Our latest perception technology draws from the largest data set in the industry to enable our system to operate in more complex traffic scenarios and move trailers at the highest degree of safety and speed over 24-hour operating periods."

Perception-Based Data Points

To enable the latest perception capabilities, Outrider updated its multi-modal sensor platform on each autonomous yard truck with over three times the range and 10 times the sensor data.

As part of ongoing autonomous operations since 2019, Outrider has been collecting perception-based data points across a wide variety of distribution yards used for package shipping, e-commerce and retail, consumer packaged goods, intermodal rail, and manufacturing.

All of Outrider's AI-driven perception capabilities are backed up with redundant safety mechanisms to merge the benefits of machine learning with traditional functional safety approaches used for industrial operations.

The latest release of its perception technology complements Outrider's other products that facilitate fully autonomous trailer movement, including hitching, backing, trailer brake line connection, and yard inventory tracking, as well as integration with warehouse, yard, and transportation management systems.

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