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Kalmar takes minority stake in robotics specialist Coast Autonomous

Kalmar takes minority stake in robotics specialist Coast Autonomous
The initial phase will focus on an autonomous terminal tractor

Kalmar has signed a joint development agreement with Coast Autonomous Inc., aiming to speed up the development and launch of robotic solutions across its mobile equipment offering.

To emphasise the common long-term interests of the partnership between the companies, the Finnish company has become a minority shareholder of Coast Autonomous.

In the initial phase, the partnership will focus on the autonomous driving functionality of the Kalmar RoboTractor – an autonomous terminal tractor.

The announcement follows the introduction of Kalmar Robotic Portfolio – a future range ofautonomous mobile equipment solutions designed to improve safety, eco-efficiency and productivity of cargo and material handling in ports and terminals, distribution centres and heavy logistics.

Lasse Eriksson, vice president of technology at Kalmar, said: “Coast’s unique technology that addresses safety on each level and the broad experience in autonomous driving solutions provides us with a great opportunity to accelerate the robotisation journey and the launch of Kalmar Robotic Portfolio.

“As safety is the key criteria in everything we do at Kalmar, we are excited about the collaboration with Coast and the opportunity to integrate their safe autonomous driving solutions that will enable autonomous operation in mixed-traffic environments in the future.”

Coast Autonomous is an autonomous driving technology start-up based in California, USA, providing mobility solutions to move people and goods in urban and industrial environments.

It has developed a proprietary autonomous vehicle system that includes mapping and localisation, robotics and artificial intelligence, fleet management and supervision.

Adrian Sussmann, president and chief financial officer at Coast Autonomous, stated: “We are excited to integrate our robotic solutions into [Kalmar’s] best-in-class vehicles, bringing improved safety and efficiency to the market.

“To work with the market leading OEM in ports and terminal operations is an amazing opportunity and a wonderful endorsement of our unique approach. We are at the dawn of a new era in robotics and the partnership with Kalmar validates our belief that safe autonomous vehicles will proliferate rapidly in industrial settings providing tremendous benefit and value for all.”