Photo credit: “Courtesy of the Port of Felixstowe”

Port of Felixstowe, being part of Hutchison Ports, is likely to be the first port in Europe to introduce autonomous terminal tractor units (ATs) into mixed traffic container terminal operations, as the company states.

The first two battery-powered units to enter service at the UK’s largest container port have been supplied by manufacturer Westwell. As it is mentioned, the autonomous terminal tractor units have been through a thorough commissioning and testing programme and that they are to be used initially to transport containers between the port’s Trinity and North Rail terminals.

“The Port of Felixstowe has a long record of innovation, and we are very excited by this latest development at the port. With the support of Extreme Precise Position (EPP) system, it can achieve positioning accuracy of 2 cm and a steering angle accuracy of 0.5 degrees,” Project Director, and Hutchison Ports UK Chief Information Officer, Karen Poulter explained.

Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Felixstowe, also said that “These new autonomous trucks represent a significant technological step forward for the Port of Felixstowe. The tools underpinning port operations have evolved continuously and we already have a range of very advanced systems and equipment in place but this is the first time we will have wholly driverless vehicles. Safety is our No.1 priority. This applies equally to technological developments and especially when introducing new equipment into live terminal operations. The ATs have a range of built-in safety features which will allow them to navigate effectively and safely within our container terminals.”

Source: Port of Felixstowe