In video captured at BMW Manufacturing’s new logistics center, driverless yard trucks haul automotive parts between warehouses and across bridges spanning public roadways.
Last week, BMW Manufacturing opened a new logistics center on Freeman Farm Road in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The $100 million facility — dubbed LCX — is nearly one million square feet in size and consolidates two off-site warehouses into one operation.
As part of the opening of the new logistics center, BMW showed off a fleet of self-driving yard trucks, or “autonomous hostlers,” at work at the facility.
BMW says that the autonomous hostlers carry automotive parts across two newly constructed, private bridges that cross over Freeman Farm Road and Interstate 85 to give quick access to the BMW plant.
“In a video demonstration, BMW showed a driverless hostler and trailer leaving the LCX building, traveling across both private bridges, and delivering parts to a building on the plant site. When BMW launches its autonomous logistics program in the future, it will eventually use 5G wireless technology on the Plant Spartanburg site, enabling real-time connectivity between machinery and equipment. To complement the autonomous hostler, the LCX building is equipped with “smart” dock doors. The truck communicates with the door once it has arrived, and the door opens automatically,” the company explained in a news release.
You can view a video demonstration partially recorded in the cab of a driverless yard truck below.