Smarter, safer yard management with 5G

Logistics are easier to manage with automated processes, but putting these capabilities into practice is no trivial matter. Ensuring smooth interaction between humans and automated systems requires careful planning and implementation. A top priority is to minimize risks, particularly hazards at points where systems interface. Humans and machines must be able to work together smoothly, and automated routines have to be properly prepared for human participation, otherwise problems are sure to arise. Engineers can check all these boxes by making the most of state-of-the-art technologies such as 5G to tackle logistical challenges and enable safe, effective human-machine teamwork in depots.

Increased safety when reversing through camera or lidar sensors, across all vehicles, at the loading gate.

The challenge: Automate logistics processes

Trucks in Germany haul three billion metric tons of goods every day. Moving countless containers from points A to B as quickly and safely as possible is a demanding task for truck drivers. Automated solutions could assist the driver, teleoperator, or automated vehicle with this challenging operation.

The solution: Dysis – the development of an intelligent assistance system

The ITK Engineering team developed and patented an innovative assistance system for logistics operators called Dysis – short for dynamic, sensor-integrated assistance system. It serves to safely guide vehicles to loading gates in container yards. Our engineers opted to install sensors on the yard’s loading gates rather than on individual vehicles. These sensors report directly to the driver via an app developed for this use case. Dysis detects a truck when it pulls into the yard. As soon as the vehicle approaches the gate and starts to maneuver, the sensors alert the driver to potential obstacles – for example, pedestrians wandering into the vehicle’s path – via audiovisual alarms on the driver’s mobile phone.

This solution was also designed to enable teleoperation – that is, to steer trucks remotely from a control station. The app is installed in the control center for the teleoperator to use. An automated vehicle receives information from the assistance system directly via 5G.

The assistance system operates without any lag, communicating in real time via the 5G mobile communications standard. In the best-case scenario, it will use a private 5G campus network. This means that our assistance system is accessible to anyone with a 5G-enabled smartphone – no other tech needed. Processing vast amounts of data and information is not a problem with 5G connectivity. Therefore, it offers numerous other possibilities, such as controlling multiple vehicles remotely.

App-based solution Dysis (dynamic, sensor-integrated assistance system), can be used immediately worldwide with no need to retrofit the vehicle.

The added value: Ready to use now to increase safety in logistics yards worldwide

The app-based solution works worldwide, regardless of the model, brand, or year of the vehicle. All Dysis requires are camera or LiDAR sensors at the loading gate. Sensors and smartphones communicate via 5G. This project also serves as a template for other logistics hubs such as ports.

Portrait of Nico Graf, Project Manager, ITK Engineering GmbH

Automation and digitalization are also making great strides in logistics yards. Technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence are driving complexity. Our engineering expertise, combined with our firm grasp of methods, enables us to tame this complexity.

Nico Graf, project manager at ITK Engineering

Key take aways

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Ready to go now – no vehicle retrofits needed

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Greater safety in the logistics yards

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Portable to other logistics hubs