The 5G Connected and Automated Logistics (CAL) project has teamed up with market leading supplier of specialist vehicles, Terberg DTS UK, to trial the Terberg YT202 – a pure electric yard tractor retrofitted with autonomous technology.
Terberg is looking to revolutionise the advanced manufacturing sector by bringing teleoperated HGVs to market and allowing these to be controlled remotely.
The 5G CAL project’s mission is to be the first project of its kind in the UK to deliver zero emission automated logistics.
It was awarded £2.4m from a share of £30m funded by the UK Government through 5G Create, an open competition combining British creativity with innovative new uses for 5G as part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's £200 million 5G Testbeds and Trials programme (5GTT). Th 5GTT is the UK Governments nationally coordinated programme of investment in 5G.
The Terberg YT202 EV is designed for moving trailers in distribution centres, transport depots and container terminals.
It was procured by the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) and has been retrofitted by StreetDrone with drive by wire components and a number of sensors and cameras.
As part of the teleoperation trials of the Terberg YT202 taking place in Sunderland, the vehicle will be put through its paces with driving challenges through roundabouts, security gates, traffic lights, bridges and junctions.
These are all necessary tests to accelerate the development of an advanced autonomous system and to help mass scale deployment.
The Sunderland 5G CAL project team showcased the Terberg vehicle at Cenex, the UK’s premier low carbon vehicle event. Some of the benefits of the YT202 include that it is economical to operate, it does not release emissions, the electric motor is quieter than a diesel engine and it requires much less maintenance.
The 5G CAL project is being delivered by the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA), Sunderland City Council, Newcastle University, Nissan, Vantec, Coventry University, Connected Places Catapult, StreetDrone and Perform Green.
Paul Butler, chief executive of the North East Automotive Alliance, said: “This is a significant step towards an autonomous supply chain. First this will allow for such a vehicle to be teleoperated remotely, paving the way for autonomous supply chains on a much larger scale. This has huge implications across a number of sectors in addition to automotive manufacturers, creating operational efficiencies and improving productivity.”
Alisdair Couper, managing director at Terberg DTS UK, added: “Having the vision to look to the future and to what it may offer is allowing us to leverage the benefits that smart technology can bring to the Sunderland region and further afield. The 5G CAL project will become a measuring point for many a future development in this sector.”