Trimble has deployed its first map-based localisation system for land-based autonomous vehicle applications, with the planned retrofit of container and haulage trucks.
IHI Corporation, a heavy industry manufacturer based in Japan, will retrofit its existing container and haulage trucks with a customised Applanix POS LV® system as part of its broader autonomy capabilities for the transport of goods around industrial facilities. This project also provides potential for automation mining-related vehicles.
Map-based localisation provides precise positioning and orientation estimation, augmenting GNSS/inertial data, which is critical for safe and efficient autonomous vehicle operations. The ability to provide IHI Corp a full workflow and real-time data ensures seamless integration into IHI’s truck design, Trimble says.
“The custom-built, locally supported system leverages Trimble’s innovative engineering capabilities and technology to provide reliable performance across a variety of challenging environments,” Trimble says. “Using this system, IHI Corporation can provide robust positioning for their autonomous fleet without additional site infrastructure, lowering capital expenditure and improving scalability.”
Tailoring POS LV to work within IHI’s unique specifications and existing autonomous platform, the map-based localisation system couples an inertial navigation system (INS) with simultaneous localisation and mapping-based (SLAM) capabilities, and works with several types of sensors, including LiDAR for IHI. POS LV provides an accurate base map using post-processed data and localises vehicle positioning in real time, enabling the reliable and safe autonomous operation of industrial vehicles, Trimble says.
IHI continually enhances its work environments, while also compensating for varying labour scenarios and personnel shortages, Trimble says. This makes the need to automate transportation critical to operations.
“By partnering with Trimble, IHI can develop a retrofit system that addresses two major challenges – affordability and consistent reliability – within the autonomous operation of large-scale industrial equipment,” it says. “Customers such as IHI rely on Trimble to create autonomous solutions that enable them to meet their strategic goals no matter where they are on their journey to autonomy.”