Fusion Processing And Bradshaw Electric Vehicles To Develop Autonomous Tow Tractors
- Fully Autonomous (unmanned) Tow Tractors aka Tugs will transform warehouse and airport logistics
- Autonomous technology to improve safety, efficiency and energy savings
Fusion Processing and Bradshaw Electric Vehicles, today, announced the beginning of an exciting new partnership to develop fully autonomous (unmanned) Tow Tractors, vehicles that are used extensively in factories, warehouse and airport logistics to haul baggage trailers and goods trucks.
Autonomising electric vehicles such as these will both improve safety and drive huge operational efficiencies in terms of refining logistics of complex environments where the smooth running and timely delivery of goods and baggage are key to larger sectors such as flight schedules and haulage where efficiency savings are counted in seconds.
Fusion Processing’s CAVstar control and sensing system will be utilised to make Bradshaw’s third generation T700 and T800 Tow Tractors fully autonomous (unmanned). The state-of-the-art artificial intelligence system uses a range of sensors including LIDAR, optical cameras and ultrasonics to build up a picture of the environment around the vehicle and plots the most efficient safe route through it. This means the autonomous Tow Tractors can be operated safely inside factories where GPS signal is unavailable and without the need for extensive infrastructure to be installed. The compact CAVstar system can be retrofitted to any vehicle, where, it controls the throttle, braking and steering systems to provide full autonomous operation. The CAVstar system will be configured for the electric vehicle, and tuned to deliver more efficient throttle and braking control than is possible by a human driver, especially when pulling an eight tonne load.
Fusion Processing’s CEO, Jim Hutchinson said “We firmly believe that autonomous vehicles can transform the logistics of large warehouses and airports where tow tractors are used extensively to haul trailers and baggage carts. We can apply our AI and engineering expertise developed on numerous autonomous vehicle projects, including the world’s first full sized autonomous bus, to transform the warehouse logistics industry”.
Bradshaw Electric Vehicle’s joint Managing Director, Drew Bradshaw said “Our third generation T700 and T800 Tow Tractor is the ideal model to autonomise as production lines often run a 24 hour operation and the 48-volt system and rollout battery lends itself to extended run-time applications negating the need for shift changes and down time. It will typically be hauling loads of up to 8-tonnes around complex environments where precision logistics are key to the smooth operations. We’re also particularly keen to realise the energy savings that Fusion’s autonomous CAVstar system can deliver”.
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Fusion Processing are world leaders in autonomous drive systems for buses thanks to project CAVForth which will, next year, see a fleet of five AV level 4 /5 buses carrying up to 10,000 passengers per week.
Founded in 2012 to design and build world leading systems for the automations of vehicles and technology to improve vehicle safety, Fusion are trailblazers in automated driving systems, situational awareness and control systems technology. Their products have clocked up over 1.8 million kilometres of service.
Innovations include CAVstar® an autonomous driving system, , CycleEye® CMS, a mirror replacement system for busses and trucks, designed and developed in house at their Bristol, UK headquarters. With numerous vehicles taking part in technology trials and commercial operations today, Fusion are driving road safety and enabling smart city traffic management systems that are set to transform the automotive industry.
Bradshaw Electric Vehicles
Bradshaw is the UK’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles for industry. We are proud of our reputation for producing some of the safest, most robust and versatile products in the sector. Established in 1975, we work with customers to deliver electric transport solutions that can help to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
Our range includes electric road vehicles, utility vehicles, people carriers, tow tractors, load carriers, walkalong tugs and bin trailers which are supplied to a broad spectrum of household name companies for a variety of applications including waste movement, manufacturing and line feed, logistics and distribution, hospitals, railways and airports.
Bradshaw is also an authorised dealer for Club Car, an Ingersoll Rand brand, the world’s largest manufacturer of golf carts and utility vehicles and the sole UK distributor for Goupil, manufacturer of compact and manoeuvrable road approved commercial electric vehicles.