Autonomous Tractor-Trailer Hitching


Outrider is the first company to offer advanced, automated tractor-trailer hitching capabilities. This patent-pending technology is now available as part of the Outrider System, which automates distribution yards for large, logistics-dependent enterprises.


Distribution yards—the area between the warehouse and the public road—have a high concentration of repetitive hitching due to constant re-positioning of trailers. The Outrider System uses this advanced technology to hitch and unhitch from trailers reliably and consistently in order to move them to and from parking spots and dock doors at distribution centers.


Using advanced perception, motion planning, and proprietary control algorithms, Outrider’s technology enables its autonomous yard trucks to optimally align in front of semi-trailers, back under the trailer, and attach the fifth wheel (the connection point of the truck) to the kingpin (the connection point on the trailer) with extreme precision. Not only does the system connect with millimeter accuracy, but it also uses sensors to confirm a successful kingpin connection without requiring manual verification.


The Outrider System consists of three integrated elements: management software, autonomous vehicles, and site infrastructure. Using proprietary autonomy technology, the system hitches to and un-hitches from trailers, robotically connects and disconnects trailer brake lines, interacts safely with loading docks, tracks trailer locations, and centrally manages and monitors all system functions.

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