Search Results for: autonomous

Seegrid, the pioneer and leader in vision-based autonomous industrial vehicles, has added the Subway Platform displays to its Supervisor product. The displays are designed to reduce downtime in the supply chain by providing subway-style estimated-time-of-arrival (ETA) projections and data collection capabilities at each station where Seegrid’s vision guided vehicles (VGVs) retrieve or deliver materials. The new feature is part of Seegrid Supervisor, the fleet management tool that enables users to remotely connect, monitor, and control their fleet of VGVs.

The Subway Platform concept was developed in coordination with Whirlpool Corporation, which uses Seegrid’s vision guided pallet trucks and tow tractors to help improve safety and efficiency in its manufacturing operations. Supervisor’s ETA projections improve communication and coordination between en route VGVs and their human coworkers.

“Subway Platform allows me to track our automated operations at a glance, wherever I am, without having to run a report. It displays VGV status, so assembly operators know when their materials will arrive,” says Brad St. Louis, senior engineer of the materials department at Whirlpool Corporation’s Clyde division. “Seegrid’s commitment to partnering with Whirlpool to create this valuable solution underscores a dedication to customers and automated solutions that work collaboratively alongside humans.”

Seegrid Supervisor uses web technology inside customer facilities to fill the communication gaps created from machine automation by establishing two-way dialogue between humans and their robotic coworkers. The expansion of Supervisor with Subway Platform is the latest result of Seegrid’s collaboration with customers to develop solutions that ensure flexibility, efficiency, and safety throughout the supply chain.

“Whirlpool Corporation is one of the most respected appliance manufacturers in the world, and we could not be more excited that our VGVs are operating in its manufacturing operations helping complete more orders on a daily basis,” said Jim Rock, CEO of Seegrid. “By using our vision guided vehicles and new tools like Subway Platform, Whirlpool is able to provide efficient deliverables to its customers while reducing overhead costs.”

Seegrid has more than doubled its workforce since 2014, as more companies turn to vision-based technology to replace legacy automation that relies on lasers.

NXP Semiconductors N.V and DAF Trucks have successfully demonstrated self-driving technologies in automated trucks. The demonstration is part of the European Truck Platooning Challenge, an event organised by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, that has trucks driving in columns (platooning) on public roads from several European cities to the Netherlands. The challenge is designed to bring autonomous platooning one step closer to implementation by showcasing economic, traffic management and safety advantages. It also addresses the need for legislation and standardisation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) across Europe, as current rules and regulations regarding speed and distance vary between countries.

Under the EcoTwin consortium, NXP, DAF, TNO and Ricardo joined forces to make this demonstration possible. The core of the ‘EcoTwin’ technology setup is a sophisticated vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications solution, RoadLINK, developed by NXP. It uses the wireless communications standard IEEE 802.11p combined with NXP radar technology to empower the trucks within the platoon to securely exchange information in real time and automatically brake and accelerate in response to the lead truck. The high speed of communication and responsiveness of NXP RoadLINK technology allows extremely tight distances and truly synchronous driving between the platooning DAF Trucks: To demonstrate autonomous acceleration and braking, the planned distance between the vehicles is slated for 0.5 seconds – which, when traveling at 80 kph (50 mph), translates to a distance of only 10 metres (30 feet). The responsiveness of the trailing truck within the platoon is estimated at 25 times faster than the average human reaction time of o ne second – saving critical time in case of emergency braking.

The RoadLINK communication system designed by NXP is built into the mirrors of the DAF Trucks participating in the platoon. The redundant NXP V2V system design with four secure channels ensures extremely reliable communication. In addition to providing the platooning commands, it provides real time video and bi-directional audio communication between the two vehicles. The audio allows the drivers to talk to each other without relying on other communication channels, such as cellular networks. Furthermore, the V2V powered camera in the lead truck streams what it “sees” to the driver in the trailing truck, providing a clear look at the road ahead.

“We’re honoured to be part of the European Truck Platooning Challenge as a key partner and provider of the secure vehicle-to-vehicle and radar technologies for the DAF trucks – DAF and other truck platoons will use our technology to complete their journey safely and effectively,” said Torsten Lehmann, senior vice president of Car Infotainment and Driver Assistance for NXP. “As a clear industry leader in driving adoption of Vehicle-to-X technologies, NXP is helping to improve fuel efficiency, emissions, safety, and traffic flow in the European Union, while avoiding accidents and saving lives.”

“It goes without saying that there is still a lot of continued development required before we can introduce platooning as a new technology on the market,” says Ron Borsboom, member of DAF Trucks’ Board of Management and responsible for product development. “This is definitely not a process that will be complete before 2020. There is still a great deal that has to be sorted out in terms of legislation, liability and acceptance. In conjunction with NXP, TNO, and Ricardo, we will be demonstrating during the European Truck Platooning Challenge that truck platooning is technically possible. This demonstration should pave the way for truck manufacturers to be allowed to carry out further testing of the technology on public roads in order to acquire even more experience. It is now up to politicians to make this possible.”