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Outrider releases latest AI-driven perception technology to accelerate yard automation

Outrider Technologies, an autonomous vehicle startup focused on modernizing logistics yards, recently unveiled upgraded perception capabilities to enable reliable, efficient driverless operations by 2024. Now armed with extensive real-world data, reinforced safety mechanisms, and predictive awareness of dynamic actors, the company’s integrated system represents a key leap towards commercializing self-driving trailer management.

Founded in 2017, Outrider develops an end-to-end platform melding proprietary hardware and AI-driven software to orchestrate autonomous yard trucks coordinating trailer transports, inventory, hitching/unhitching, and planning. After sizable venture backing, the firm currently works with multiple Fortune 500 corporations across distribution sites evaluating the technology.

Outrider’s flagship offering bundles self-driving yard tractor trucks with sophisticated perception algorithms trained using millions of labeled data points collected from customer locations. CEO Andrew Smith highlights the latest release (“4th-gen system”) incorporates expanded datasets and advanced deep learning techniques to significantly upgrade understanding and interaction capabilities handling bustling real-world environments.

Enhanced Situational Awareness Not only identifying stationary obstacles and moving actors like truck drivers, the upgraded perception stack also gauges direction and velocity of detected objects. This extended environmental awareness allows safer, more efficient navigation by proactively adjusting based on others’ predicted behavior as opposed to simply reacting.

Smith explains, “Essentially, you’re navigating like a human would by understanding the intention of different obstacles and actors in the yard.” Mimicking intuitive anticipation of intentions behind vehicle motion or pedestrian actions marks a major self-driving milestone with both safety and productivity advantages over purely visual reacting.

In addition, calculating likely trajectories for yard trucks, workers on foot, rotating gates, and more enables planning contingencies ahead of time when operating autonomously in tight spaces amongst numerous volatile elements. This extra reaction buffer improves safety since Outrider’s trucks can sacrifice speed as needed while avoiding disruptive emergency stops. The CEO notes multiple redundant fail-safes still reinforce the autonomous driving system as well.

Accelerated Trailer Connect/Disconnect Outrider also reports upgraded sensors and learning models now slash time required for trailers hookups/disconnects by 40%. As a key efficiency bottleneck in logistics yards, optimizing changeovers can significantly impact overall throughput. The latest computer vision upgrades provide both faster recognition and coordination guiding trailers backs onto hitches smoothly.

Smith claims, “The perception system is the last piece of the puzzle” culminating Outrider’s driverless management platform after prior unveiling inventory features exploiting AI to automatically scan, track, and locate specific trailers by recognizing license plate numbers from imagery. Together, these capabilities promise a transformative orchestration solution upgrading legacy yards into optimized smart hubs ready to handle surging volumes with lower operating expenses.

Eyes Towards Expansion With technical hurdles seemingly clearing towards deploying fully autonomous functionality in 2024, Outrider now looks towards global business development. While currentfield testing and initial pilots remain North America-centric working closely with lead customers, management recognizes mammoth worldwide potential.

Smith acknowledges operational yard headaches and pressure to upgrade persist across logistics players globally despite regional variations. Outrider’s value proposition touts lowering costs through automation, bolstering safety minimizing human-truck interactions, and boosting throughputs optimizing intricate trailer choreography.

These universal motivations likely resonate with multinational shippers and carriers as evolving commerce and consumer dynamics make yesterday’s manual yards increasingly untenable. Although supply chain digitization lags regions like North America and Europe in developing markets, catching up heightens receptivity to bold productivity advancements automation delivers.

Early positive signals bode well for the Colorado startup translating technological progress into commercial traction as autonomous platforms transition from controlled pilots to standardized implementations. But competing solutions from equally hungry rivals and unforeseen adoption barriers could still emerge as autonomous yards move towards mainstream reality. Nevertheless, by aggressively courting customers worldwide while diligently refining technical capabilities, Outrider aims to sustain innovative momentum converting capital and credibility into category leadership.

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