The opportunity to trial an all-weather, single sensor solution for container port automation to increase efficiency and safety of your operations.

Navtech Radar

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Automated Vehicles in Smart Container Ports

Enabling automated guided vehicles to efficiently manage the demands on the port industry.

Smart Ports - Containers
The challenge

Marine container ports need to be more efficient than ever. The need to deliver goods as fast as possible, along with competition from air freight, puts high demands on the port industry. The additional labour required to meet these needs can be costly and also impacts health and safety considerations. As a solution, many ports have introduced a level of autonomous container handling to their terminal such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs). As a result, the number of semi-automated or fully automated 'Smart ports' or 'Ghost ports' is increasing rapidly worldwide. However, the challenging coastal environment and high-risk industrial processes require any autonomous sensors to be extremely reliable and robust. Commonly used autonomous equipment sensors can become impaired in adverse conditions, sometimes rendering the vehicle momentarily inoperable. Cameras, for example, can lose visibility during heavy rain, fog and when sea spray builds up over the lens.

Terran360 is different. This highly innovative radar based localisation solution is perfect for port automation where reliability and performance are essential. Our localisation solution provides accurate and robust performance in all weather and light conditions. Working beyond the limits of a person's capability, it enables effective infrastructure-free automation of mobile vehicles in ports anywhere, anytime.

How will it work?

Terran360 combines Navtech’s unique 360° radar sensor technology with the world-leading Oxbotica autonomous vehicle software platform to deliver centimetre accurate localisation unseen before in the autonomous world—in all environmental conditions. Resulting in an infrastructure-free, single sensor solution that can be easily installed onto any mobile port machinery. This includes rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs), rail-mounted gantry cranes, straddle carriers, ship to shore cranes, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), terminal trucks and terminal tractors. Terran360 enables autonomous vehicles to answer the key questions "Where am I?" (localisation) and "How am I moving?" (odometry).

Smart Port Automation - Containers
The benefits

Terran360 enables port operators to run unmanned autonomous vehicles, in all weather conditions, at any time of the day or night. It improves worker safety by removing them from the frontline of dangerous operations; thereby giving port operators peace of mind. This also results in increased availability and operational efficiency, helping you gain a competitive advantage. In addition, it can consequently reduce CO₂ emissions and aid in achieving sustainability goals. This single sensor solution offers a cost-effective method to elevate your port automation to the cutting edge whilst adding an extra level of safety.

  • Full autonomy reduces pressure on the terminal's workforce and increases safety
  • Infrastructure-free: Zero dependence on external systems makes deployment simple, cost-effective and fast
  • GNSS Free: Robust odometry solution that can be used as a primary localisation solution based purely on radar data
  • Optimised autonomous vehicle movement aids achievement of sustainability goals and helps you gain the competitive advantage
  • Designed to be flexible and integrate into existing autonomy stacks and sensor solutions. This includes GPS, inertial data, laser and camera SLAM solutions
Expected technical performance

Combining Navtech Radar’s cutting-edge OEMSensor and Oxbotica’s advanced localisation software, Terran360 will build an initial map of the desired autonomous vehicle route. Consequently, this enables port operators to programme their autonomous vehicle to drive the pre-determined route without any further instruction. As a result of the 360° field of view and 500m range, Terran360 produces highly accurate real-time data. The high resolution image produced by the radar is used to identify a vast amount of key "landmarks" in its surroundings. Subsequently, this ensures the solution is robust to changes in the port environment, such as the movement of container stacks, when laser and camera sensors may fail.

  • High definition, radar-only localisation system provides precise localisation and pose data to 3-5 cm accuracy
  • True vehicle automation, independent of GNSS. Reliable performance guaranteed, unaffected by local physical environment or signal jamming 
  • Environmentally robust to the harshest weather conditions present in marine ports. Unaffected by rain, fog, dust and dirt Terran360 can operate in all light conditions and is robust to moving objects
  • The rapid refresh rate of Terran360 radar feedbacks highly accurate real-time data with an update rate of 4 Hz
  • Easy and quick integration due to single sensor, topological mapping and standard NMEA strings passed over UDP
Smart Port Automation: Raw radar based Localisation data

Localisation data produced by Terran360

Complementary Technologies

Terran360 is an easy way to simplify and complement even the most complex and multi-layered localisation systems of software and sensors. It offers quick and easy integration into any autonomy stack, with full support from our team. Find out how Terran360 can work alongside your existing autonomous sensors to unlock the full power of automation.

Lidar complementary technology

Lidar

All weather classification

Lidar is classically vulnerable to sub-optimal weather conditions. In these instances radar demonstrates its significantly greater robustness.



GNSS/GPS

Reliable operation in GNSS denied areas

GNSS can be unreliable near large structures and buildings commonly found in ports. Terran360 does not rely on external signals and therefore adds greater reliability.

CCTV camera icon for automatic security systems

Optical Camera

Robust operation in poor visual conditions

Alike to radar, cameras are susceptive to adverse weather conditions and daylight hours.  Radar provides uninterrupted automation.


Wheel Odometry

Radar provides next level reliability to wheel odometry

Drift and wheel slippage can occur when using wheel odometry and must be carefully managed. Terran360's own odometry capabilities overcome this and is also available in GNSS denied areas.

Thermal Imaging Camera

Thermal Imaging

Distinguish between critical and non-critical hazards

The addition of radar localisation to thermal imaging adds an extra layer of safety against collisions between automated vehicles and humans.



Trials to date
Radar Based Localisation - Terminal Tractors, August 2021

We are collaborating with one of the forerunners in port automation to trial Terran360 for their terminal tractors. They require a reliable solution with a simple implementation process. In addition, the solution must provide accurate positioning in GNSS denied areas, with high levels of accuracy.


About Terran360

Terran360 combines Navtech’s market-leading, all-weather, high resolution radar sensor technology with the best-in-class Oxbotica autonomous vehicle software platform. Delivering centimetre accurate localisation unseen before in the autonomous world. This world-leading solution performs reliably in all weather conditions and environments enabling automation of industrial sites, including ports. This can help improve efficiency in line with increasing demand and industry expectations whilst simultaneously keeping safety at the forefront of considerations.

Sam Wood_Business Development Manager

Business Development Manager

"The localisation challenge for real-world automated vehicles will become increasingly problematic in the years to come as we see further adoption and scaling of autonomous technology in the port industry. To explore the opportunity to trial a robust radar-based localisation solution that is independent of infrastructure or GPS signal, get in touch." 

We are now looking for partners willing to work with us to carry out proof of concept trials for port automation.

As an early adopter of this technology, you will have the opportunity to influence the development of the solution for your application, prior to its formal launch. With experienced software, research and development, and commissioning teams at Navtech Radar, you can be assured we will work with you to meet your requirements. 

Contact us to discuss the opportunity to trial this new technology.

Article first published: 16/11/2021

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