Six autonomous trucks have been deployed at Laem Chabang Port in Thailand, where they will be integrated with the existing fleet of conventional trucks to transfer containers between the quay and the yard.
Hutchison Ports Thailand is the first port operator in the country and among the first in the world to acquire and test autonomous trucks.
The six electric Qomolo trucks (Q-Trucks) arrived at Terminal D from Shanghai, China on 26 April. Equipped with AI machine-learning technology and a wireless charging system, the Q-Truck can operate non-stop for more than 24 hours. The vehicles use advanced LiDAR (light detection and range) technology to detect and survey their surroundings in all directions, generating a precise, internal 3D map that allows them to accurately analyse and avoid obstacles and collisions.
Operation of the trucks will be controlled by Hutchison Ports’ Next Generation Terminal Management System (nGen), which works in conjunction with other innovations – such as remote-controlled cranes – to plan transportation routes and to manage operation time schedules and arrival patterns.
“The autonomous ‘Q-Trucks utilise the latest technology and innovation, and are part of our ongoing plan to transform Terminal D into the most technologically advanced and efficient container terminal in the region,” said Stephen Ashworth, Hutchison Ports’ managing director for Thailand & South East Asia.
“The Q-Truck continues to push the envelope for port innovation and along with our other already and soon-to-be implemented innovations, such as remote-controlled crane technology, online e-tracking services, gate automation and blockchain technology, we are rapidly approaching our goal of becoming the nation’s first fully-developed ‘smart port’.”
Osborne Clarke’s report Future Proof Real Estate: Is the property sector ready for the 2020s? explores how autonomous vehicles and other smart technologies will change the face of the built environment.