Groupe PSA trials world first autonomous industrial tow tractor at Sochaux plant

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Groupe PSA and EasyMile have collaborated to create the world’s first autonomous industrial tow tractor, which will be used at the car manufacturer’s Sochaux, France, plant.

The driverless TractEasy vehicle has the ability to navigate the plant environment without any human intervention and will operate as a trial to see how Groupe PSA can automate a portion of its logistics platform.

Conducting 3km (1.8 mile) round-trips between the plant’s supplier industrial park and assembly shop, the tow tractor is able to pull up to 25 tons at speeds of up to 25km/h (15mph) and has the ability to drive among other vehicles on-site to improve operational flexibility.

EasyMile, which has introduced its driverless technology and mobility solutions to a number of other locations such as airports, mass transit, business parks and universities around the globe, has helped Groupe PSA realize new levels of 4.0 industry solutions.

Following this step, the plant plans to operate two autonomous tow tractors in the first quarter of 2019. They will operate in shifts on a 24/7 basis to deliver parts from the supplier industrial park to the Peugeot 3008 assembly line. Ultimately, they would be able to deliver all of the parts used to build the Peugeot 308 and 3008, including the bumpers, tailgate and consoles.

By James Billington

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As editor of four magazines at UKi Media & Events James brings over a decade of writing about, and obsessing over, technology and cars to Automotive Interiors World, Stadia, Winter Sports Technology International and Auditoria. Responsible for commissioning, writing and editing each issue he’s covered the best (and worst) from around the industry on a continual search to feature the latest innovation or talking point on the next cover.

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