Wednesday, 29 April 2020
Hutchison Ports First to Introduce Autonomous Trucks to Thailand
Hutchison Ports Thailand, the nation’s leading port operator and an innovator in global ‘smart port’ port development, announced today that it is now the first port operator in Thailand and among the first in the world to acquire and test autonomous trucks at its Terminal D facility at Laem Chabang Port, Chon Buri.
The announcement marks a huge step forward for the development of the nation’s ‘smart’ infrastructure along the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), with the autonomous, ‘Qomolo’ trucks promising to improve efficiency and safety at its operations at Terminal D.
The investment will not only benefit Hutchison Ports Thailand’s customers and port users at Terminal D, but other stakeholders along the EEC; a key gateway to the greater Mekong region.
The six electric ‘Qomolo’ trucks (also known as the ‘Q-Truck’), arrived at Terminal D from Shanghai, China on 26 April, with the testing phase set to run for one year. During this period, the trucks will be integrated with the existing conventional fleet of trucks to transfer containers between the quay and the yard.
Equipped with advanced AI machine-learning technology and a wireless charging system, the Q Truck can operate non-stop for more than 24 hours.
The trucks utilise the advanced ‘LiDAR’ light detection and range technology, through which it can instantaneously (and accurately) detect and survey its surroundings in all directions, generating a precise, internal 3D map, enabling it to accurately analyse and avoid obstacles and collisions.
The operation of the trucks will be integrated into – and controlled by – Hutchison Ports’ Next Generation Terminal Management System (“nGen”), which works in conjunction with other innovations – such as remote controlled-cranes – to plan transportation routes, manage operation time schedules and arrival patterns.
Mr. Stephen Ashworth, Managing Director – Thailand & South East Asia of Hutchison Ports, said, “The autonomous ‘Q-Trucks’ utilize the latest technology and innovation, and are part of our ongoing plan to transform Terminal D into the most technologically advanced and efficient container terminal in the region.
The Q Truck continues to push the envelope for port innovation and along with our other already and soon-to-be implemented innovations, such as remote controlled crane-technology, online e-tracking services, gate automation and blockchain technology, we are rapidly approaching our goal of becoming the nation’s first fully-developed ‘smart port.”
Luke Smout Felixstowe