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Outrider, a robotics company that automates yard operations for logistics hubs, announced the availability of its trailer inventory management system for distribution yards. The inventory management application is part of the Outrider System and provides real-time tracking of the semi-autonomous trailers and containers in yards.
This new feature provides real-time intelligence about assets and freight locations that enable large, logistics-dependent enterprises to increase the efficiency of their yard operations. It uses technology already installed on Outrider’s autonomous, electric yard trucks to collect the locations of parked trailers while moving trailers during routine operations or as a dedicated function.
Current data collection methods are tedious, error-prone and quickly outdated, which can cause frequent shipping delays. Typically, yard operations require employees to patrol the distribution yard, either on foot or by driving a vehicle, to manually update the locations of trailers in dock spots, parking spots and storage areas.
“Misplaced trailers, containers, and chassis are a universal pain point of yard operations,” Andrew Smith, Founder and CEO of Outrider, said. “This new technology will be celebrated by logistics center operators and the 3.5 million over-the-road semi-truck drivers in North America who waste hours each day looking for trailers. Our trailer inventory solution brings much-needed visibility and insight to maximize productivity and yard throughput.”
Outrider’s autonomous yard trucks use sophisticated sensors and proprietary vision algorithms enabled by deep learning to detect vacant or occupied parking spots and capture trailer identification numbers, standard carrier alpha codes (SCAC codes) and multiple other trailer characteristics.
Outrider’s cloud-based management software enables, manages and records trailer inventory, which helps yard dispatchers, warehouse operators and transportation managers improve decision-making and overall efficiency. The company shares real-time inventory with the customers’ warehouse, yard or transportation systems through its application programming interface (API).
Earlier this year, Outrider brought in $73 million in funding for its autonomous yard truck system, bringing the company’s total funding to date to $191 million.
The Outrider System consists of three integrated parts — management software, autonomous vehicles, and site infrastructure. In addition to the articulated backing technology, the system can autonomously hitch to and unhitch from trailers, robotically connect and disconnect trailer brake lines, interact safely with loading docks, track trailer locations, and centrally manage and monitor all system functions.