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Outrider’s Robotic Yard Trucks Are Taking On Dangerous, Dirty Jobs

Automated and electric vehicles are finding uses in agricultural and industrial spaces, where they can don’t have to encounter passengers or pedestrians.

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Photographer: Outrider Technologies Inc.

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Yard trucks: also known as spotters, shifters, shunt trucks, and terminal tractors, or, for those who prefer zoological nomenclature, yard birds, horses, dogs, or mules. By any name, they are the vehicles that tow semi-trailers from dock to dock and parking spot to spot at warehouses and shipping yards. Last week, I tried my hand operating one. I’m proud to report that, on my first try, I successfully backed a 53-foot trailer into a dock sandwiched by two other trailers.