Toyota releases warehouse natural navigation system

Toyota Material Handling Europe has released a new navigation system for automated vehicles that operate in warehouses.

The ‘Natural navigation’ system uses recognisable reference points and landmarks within a warehouse to navigate the vehicle. These include walls, racking and fixed objects, which are used by the truck to calculate its exact location. It is to be shown off at the LogiMAT show in Stuttgart this week.

Where warehouses remain fairly constant, Toyota say that natural navigation is a lower cost alternative than other navigation systems in use in such environments today.

All warehouse trucks from the Autopilot range are currently equipped with reflector navigation, a navigation method in which consistent and high-contrast targets, called reflectors, are added to the environment. The reflectors installed in the warehouse allow the scanner on the automated truck to define its position based on its distance to the reflectors. This technique offers robustness, high accuracy and long reach.

From May onwards, Toyota’s Autopilot trucks will be able to support either reflector or the lower-cost natural navigation.

Hans Larsson, Director Logistics Solutions at Toyota Material Handling Europe, commented: “We are excited to introduce this navigation method to our range which allows us to support our customers with a wider offer and more cost-effective automation solutions. We are also unique in offering a combination of two types of navigation in one system.”  
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