SEOUL -- In an effort to build a smart port, Busan, the hub of South Korea's maritime transportation, will lead a state project to develop an electrically powered terminal tractor installed with devices that automatically avoid accidents by recognizing various risk factors.
The port of Busan, some 326 kilometers (202 miles) southeast of Seoul, is currently undergoing digital transformation to turn its old facility infrastructure into connected smart facilities. The port was already selected in a government project to commercialize an unmanned smart port logistics system that will speed up the distribution of cargo using autonomous equipment.
Busan Port Authority (BPA) will develop an automatic-steering accident avoid system for electric tractors by the end of 2022 by forming a consortium with the Institute of Automotive Convergence Technology and four companies. The consortium will verify safety needed for commercialization through on-site tests.
BPA CEO Nam Ki-chan said the project would help localize core technologies for the eco-friendly autonomous driving of transport equipment in ports. "Busan Port has an opportunity to grow into an advanced smart port that will spearhead autonomous driving technology." BPA will analyze past accident cases, port facilities and infrastructure while establishing accident avoidance scenarios and a port electronic map.
With rapid advances in sensor and computer technologies, there have been growing demands for autonomous equipment at warehouses, distribution centers and construction sites. In 2019, LGU+ demonstrated an unmanned tractor. The mobile carrier has used its 5G technology and network for the development of autonomous robots, unmanned cranes for smart port operation, and unmanned construction machines.
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