Strategic partnership for automated logistics

Hannover, September 2022 – In order to significantly advance the automation of logistics and transport solutions, especially in the area of trailers, the commercial vehicle specialist Krone, which is active throughout Europe, and Fernride, the innovation leader for autonomous & teleoperated transport solutions, have signed a strategic partnership. Within the framework of this cooperation, an automated trailer is to be developed that initially implements the automation of important secondary functions, such as the coupling process, the opening/closing of doors or the sensory environment analysis. In the transport process, the  trained teleoperator can thus concentrate entirely on managing the autonomous vehicles assigned to him/her.

Strategic Partnership For Automated Logistics

Strategic partnership for automated logistics

Commercial vehicle manufacturer Krone and technology company Fernride cooperate for driverless transport solutions

With a  focus on yard and terminal logistics, both cooperation partners will gain relevant experience in a timely manner and bring emerging products to market maturity more quickly. In the medium term, the further developed technology will also be used in more complex application areas of the transport chain.

By complementing the different competences of both companies, this cooperation is a further relevant step in their respective strategic focus  in the field of automation. Krone’s international sales, service and data structures combined with Fernride’s scalable platform technology for autonomous and teleoperated driving offer ideal conditions for the joint activities. The Krone Group is also underpinning the strategic partnership with a financial investment into Fernride.

“We were convinced by Fernride’s motivated team and its technological approach. The company is already solving the real problem of driver shortages in pilot applications as a partner for its and thus for our joint logistics customers. With its system, Fernride offers global scaling opportunities in logistics and perhaps beyond,” Bernard Krone, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Krone Group, comments on the new partnership.

Medium-sized company meets start-up for truck drivers from the office

The strategic partnership at eye level is a win-win situation for both companies: In addition to its strong international market position and production expertise in the commercial vehicle sector, Krone already has extensive experience in the field of autonomous driving in the agricultural machinery sector. The young company Fernride now complements the cooperation with its platform technology for autonomous and teleoperated driving, which enables a teleoperator to control an autonomous truck remotely. In scenarios where artificial intelligence for autonomous driving reaches its limits, a teleoperator can take over the control and thus secure the automated logistics process at any time. Thus, the highest possible service reliability can be guaranteed.

Strategic partnership for automated logistics

The start-up’s scalable platform deliberately combines the human skills of “truck drivers” from the office with the autonomous driving technology available today. In this way, Fernride redefines the job of the driver and makes it fit for the future: The driver becomes an operator; a fleet manager who monitors highly automated machines and only intervenes in rare situations. The more attractive workplace and the fact that productivity can be increased by a factor of 50 in the future will counteract the ever-increasing driver shortage.

“We have recognized that the trailer will play a decisive role in the autonomous and electric logistics value chain. With Krone we have found an ideal – highly innovative partner – amongst the trailer manufacturers to jointly shape this future and bring it to the road even faster,” says Hendrik Kramer, co-founder and CEO of Fernride.

Cross-sector cooperation for logistics

In addition to a development partnership with Terberg, the market leader for terminal tractors, as well as pilot and research projects with MAN on the ATLAS-L4 project for the automation of Hub2Hub scenarios on the truck side, Krone as a major commercial vehicle manufacturer is now also one of Fernride’s partners to decisively and more quickly advance the automation of logistics. The existing cooperation with renowned connectivity providers such as Nokia and Telefonica also ensures the connectivity and expansion within the logistics industry that is critical for teleoperation.

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