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Outrider Unveils Advanced AI Perception for Yard Automation

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Next-generation technology sets a precedent for autonomous yard performance and safety

Outrider, the leader in autonomous yard operations for logistics hubs, announced the latest release of its AI-driven perception technology. Trained by millions of data points collected from Fortune 500 customer distribution yards, Outrider’s yard automation solution understands, anticipates, and interacts with the yard’s diverse fixed and moving actors. The updated perception system allows Outrider to achieve critical safety and performance objectives for commercial driverless operations in 2024.

“Because distribution yards are complex outdoor environments, Outrider’s autonomous system is designed to work side-by-side with many types of actors, including other yard trucks, over-the-road semi-trucks, trailers, delivery trucks, golf carts, pallets, personnel, and more,” said Andrew Smith, Outrider Founder and CEO. “Our latest perception technology enables Outrider’s system to autonomously move customer trailers and containers more efficiently and safely than ever before.”

Outrider’s latest perception technology identifies specific characteristics of yard actors, such as orientation, position, and velocity, anticipates their trajectories, and responds to their actions using predictable, human-like behaviors. Data collection from various distribution yards feeds Outrider’s proprietary deep-learning models, which create the neural networks for the autonomous system to automate yard tasks with increasing intelligence and precision.

“The Outrider System is constantly learning from real-world experience and applying that knowledge to how it operates in those environments,” said Luciano Spinello, Senior Director of Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence at Outrider. “Our latest perception technology draws from the largest data set in the industry to enable our system to operate in more complex traffic scenarios and move trailers at the highest degree of safety and speed over 24-hour operating periods.”

To enable the latest perception capabilities, Outrider updated its multi-modal sensor platform on each autonomous yard truck with over 3x the range and 10x the sensor data to achieve critical safety and performance objectives for scaled driverless operations. As part of ongoing autonomous operations since 2019, Outrider has collected perception-based data points across various distribution yards for package shipping, eCommerce and retail, consumer packaged goods, intermodal rail, and manufacturing.

The diversity of environments in which the system operates enhances the safety of operations at each customer site. All of Outrider’s AI-driven perception capabilities are backed up with redundant safety mechanisms to merge the benefits of machine learning with traditional functional safety approaches used for industrial operations.

The latest release of its perception technology further complements Outrider’s many industry firsts and patented innovations that facilitate fully autonomous trailer movement, including hitching, backing, trailer brake line connection, yard inventory tracking, and integration with warehouse, yard, and transportation management systems.

Outrider is the first-to-market yard automation solution that performs fully autonomous, zero-emission trailer moves. The company’s AI-driven perception technology release bookends a breakout year for Outrider. Highlights of 2023 include adding trailer inventory tracking technology, expanding its engineering workforce by 20% in Europe and Latin America, and announcing a $73 million Series C financing round – bringing its total funding to $191 million.

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