Gaussin demonstrates hydrogen unmanned tractor for logistics sector
French engineering company Gaussin has demonstrated its latest innovation. It is a hydrogen-powered unmanned tractor that will increase efficiency of the logistics sector. The vehicle will be tested in mid-2021 by two logistics companies in the U.S. and Europe.
Gaussin named its innovative vehicle as “Zero-emission Yard Automation”. It was developed at the request of different customers from the logistics sector. “To meet the demand of logistics players for automated and environmentally friendly solutions, Gaussin has developed a turnkey solution for the movement of trailers, semi-trailers and swap bodies between the equipment parking areas and the docks,” the company notes.
Combination of technologies
The new tractors are based on Gaussin’s hydrogen-powered vehicle platforms already deployed in electric version at 40 sites. According to the French manufacturer, the new product has several distinguishing features. It is a completely hydrogen-powered and autonomous vehicle, which is equipped with fleet supervision and orchestration software to receive mission orders from the logistics operator and dispatch them optimally to each vehicle.
Moreover, the tractor has a vehicle-mounted robotic arm that enables the connection and disconnection of air and electrical connectors linking the trailer and tractor. “The robotic arm uses its cameras to automatically recognise the connector types and the associated connection manoeuvre to perform this key function of the yard operations,” Gaussin explains.
To confirm the performance of the innovation system in the configuration of the customer sites and to plan a commercial deployment before the end of 2021. Gaussin has already scheduled the dedicated tests. They will take place in mid-2021 in Europe and the U.S. As some media report, the trials will be carried out by UPS. The name of another company is still a secret. “The objective of these tests is to confirm the performance of the system in the configuration of the customer sites and to plan a commercial deployment before the end of 2021,” Gaussin adds.