Autonomous vehicles will certainly be important to improve the efficiency of large ports, all over the world.
So Ford collaborates with DP World London Gateway to demonstrate how autonomous delivery could benefit large worksites, such as ports. DP World London Gateway – one of the UK’s fastest growing ports – is located 40 km east of central London and already embraces automated technology as an intrinsic part of its operations as a deep-sea container port.
The trial is part of Ford’s Self-Driving Research Programme, which works directly with customers to better understand how autonomous vehicles could integrate into their businesses
Researchers monitored DP World employees as they both loaded and accessed parcels directly to and from a simulated autonomous vehicle – without any assistance from a driver…brave new world!
The initiative is part of Ford’s Self-Driving Research Programme, designed to help businesses understand how autonomous vehicles could benefit their operations.
First launched in June to explore the potential impact upon courier services and doorstep deliveries, the DP World trial tested how recipients managed when accessing self-driving delivery vehicles themselves.
The underlying intention behind the pilot programme is to identify new opportunities and models for autonomous vehicle operations – in particular understanding how existing processes and human interactions can work alongside automated vehicles.
“It was incredible to see how enthusiastically the team at DP World embraced working with the support of a self-driving vehicle. We are continuing to work very closely with our customers to learn how these vehicles can benefit their businesses and it is exciting to see first-hand the impact this can have across a diverse range of locations,” said Richard Balch, director, Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility, Ford of Europe. “What worked so well at DP World premises could equally be of benefit at universities, airports and manufacturing facilities.”
Ford has been testing self-driving technology in major cities across the U.S. in partnership with Argo AI. The company plans to invest around $7 billion (€6.02 billion) in autonomous vehicles during 10 years through to 2025 – $5 billion (€4.3 billion) of that from 2021 forward – as part of its mobility initiatives.
Hans Knol ten Bensel