Hutchison Ports has become the first port operator in Thailand to pilot autonomous truck technology in its Terminal D facility at Laem Chabang Port.
The testing phase for the six electric Qomolo trucks (Q-trucks) is set to run for one year and, during this period, the trucks will be integrated with the existing conventional fleet to transfer containers between the quay and the yard.
Stephen Ashworth, Thailand and South East Asia managing director for Hutchison Ports, said: “The autonomous Q-trucks utilise 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.”
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 detect and survey its surroundings in all directions.
It also generates an internal 3D map which enables it to 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 will plan transportation routes, manage operation time schedules and arrival patterns.
nGen will also incorporate other soon-to-be implemented innovations, such as remote controlled crane-technology, online e-tracking services, gate automation and blockchain technology.
Hutchison Ports Thailand aims to be the nation’s first fully-developed smart port.