HHLA TK Estonia and FERNRIDE have successfully completed the first phase of their joint project at the Estonian terminal.
Next, the two companies will continue the project to further develop and promote autonomous driving at the terminal. Also, the innovation unit HHLA Next invested again in FERNRIDE in June.
The joint project at the HHLA TK Estonia terminal near Tallinn started in January. More specifically, the aim of the first phase of the project was to evaluate the operational reliability of the technology in the field of automated container handling and to validate it for future business opportunities.
The project team was able to provide the proof of concept as part of the first phase: The FERNRIDE system was successfully integrated into the work processes at HHLA TK Estonia. The participation of the operative employees at the terminal was particularly decisive in order to take the special features of the terminal processes into account.
The truck equipped by FERNRIDE with sensors and cameras was able to transport the first containers between the quay edge and the warehouse by remote control.
FERNRIDE relies on the technological approach of “human-assisted autonomy”, which enables a teleoperator to take over the vehicle remotely.
In the second phase that has now started, the aim is to integrate autonomous driving into the operational process. For this purpose, another automated tractor is used at the terminal for container transport. The aim is to achieve a degree of autonomy of at least 80-90%.
“The implementation has proven itself in daily terminal operations, so that the proof of concept could be achieved at an early stage,” commented Philip Sweens, managing director of HHLA International.
He added, “We will now continue the good cooperation with FERNRIDE and work out together what autonomous driving could look like in the future. In doing so, we are pursuing the goal of making the work processes at our international terminals future-oriented and sustainable.”