Toyota Australia to introduce autopilot fleet in 2020

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  • Plant & Equipment

Seven automated towing machines will be in operation at the Victorian warehouse


Toyota Australia is all set to usher in a fleet of autonomous autopilot vehicles at its Altona warehouse in 2020.

The project, which is organised in coordination with Toyota Material Handling Australia and Toyota Fleet Management, will utilise a fleet of six autopilot tow trucks (TAE500) and the flagship model, autopilot reach truck (RAE160).

Manufactured in Sweden by Toyota Material Handling Europe, the machines will apply autopilot driverless technology to achieve mobility in conveyance, towing, lifting, and be able to autonomously place product throughout the warehouse and pick orders for customers. 

All models in the range will also have the ability to be used in manual mode as conventional warehouse vehicles.

Toyota Australia sales and marketing vice president Sean Hanley said the company understands and appreciates the importance of automation technology. 

"Toyota Australia will continue to develop, progress, and employ these new ways of thinking whenever possible," Hanley says.

"We are extremely committed to delivering the highest level of reliability, performance, and productivity, and autopilot ticks every one of these boxes."

Built with the reliability and serviceability of their manual predecessors, the new hybrids will also include integrated navigation and leading safety systems, Toyota Australia says. 

The safety systems include scanners and obstacle detection devices that are designed to stop the vehicle and minimise the risk of a collision. 

Fleet management, emergency-stop buttons, warning sounds, and lights will be standard across the range together with a blue LED warning light projected in front of the vehicle, to assist in noisy environments or when an autopilot machine is approaching around a corner.

The new machines will also deliver energy efficiencies via lithium-ion battery technology, automatic charging, high vehicle utilisation, and low maintenance costs, Toyota says.


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