Outrider Technologies Inc., a startup developing autonomous yard trucks equipped with robotic arms, today announced that it has secured $73 million in new funding.
The startup raised the capital through a Series C investment led by FM Capital. Outrider has received a total of $191 million from investors since launch.
After a semi-truck carrying merchandise arrives at a warehouse, it drops off its trailer in the facility’s parking area. The trailer is then towed from the parking area to the warehouse’s loading dock, where merchandise can be unpacked. The task of towing trailers from the parking area to the loading dock is carried out by specialized vehicles called yard trucks.
Golden, Colorado-based Outrider has developed an electric yard truck with autonomous driving features. When a semi-truck trailer arrives at a warehouse, its vehicle can ferry it from the parking area to the loading bay without any manual input. The onboard navigation software automatically detects and avoids potentially hazardous situations.
Before it can be moved to another part of a warehouse, a trailer has to be attached to the yard truck that will tow it using pressurized cables. Those cables are known as the brake and electric lines. Outrider’s yard truck is equipped with a robotic arm that can automatically connect the brake and electric lines, as well as disconnect them once a trailer has been towed to a warehouse’s loading dock.
The company provides its yard trucks alongside a cloud-based logistics platform called Mission Control. The platform enables supply chain teams to coordinate and monitor the movement of trailers at logistics hubs.
“Outrider has consistently delivered breakthrough technology to automate one of the most inefficient links in the supply chain – the distribution yard,” sai founder and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Smith. “Our customers will move massive quantities of freight more efficiently, safely and sustainably using Outrider’s technology.”
To date, the company has reportedly deployed 20 autonomous yard trucks at customer sites and the test facility it uses to support product development. It’s currently finalizing the trucks’ feature set. It expects to complete the development process in 2023 and plans to expand commercialization initiatives from there onwards.
The $73 million investment will support the effort. The startup will use the capital to finance product development initiatives, hire more employees and expand its collaboration with the electric yard truck manufacturers that produce its vehicles. It envisions its autonomous yard trucks finding use in a variety of industries ranging from e-commerce to manufacturing.
“Outrider has addressed all the pieces – technology, safety, operations and support – needed to deploy a reliable, industrial-grade system at scale,” said FM Capital Managing Partner Mark Norman.