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Union Pacific's Kinney County Railport to be site of self-driving vehicles

Self-driving vehicles will be deployed at UP's Kinney County Railport, pictured on its opening day in 2015.
Photo – up.com


Harbor Rail Services of California has selected Coast Autonomous to deploy self-driving vehicles at Union Pacific Railroad's Kinney County Railport (KCRP) in Texas.

The collaboration between Coast and Harbor Rail, which operates the railport, marks the first deployment of self-driving vehicles at a U.S. rail yard, Coast and Harbor Rail officials said in a press release.

Harbor Rail and Coast teams identified areas where autonomous vehicles can add value, including staff transportation, delivery of supplies and equipment, perimeter security and lawn mowing, they said.

Coast has completed 3D mapping of the facility, a first step in any such deployment. The first self-driving vehicle is expected to begin service at KCRP next month.

"At a large facility like KCRP, we have many functions that I am convinced can be carried out by COAST vehicles," said Harbor Rail President Mark Myronowicz. "This will free up additional labor to work on rail cars, make us even more efficient, help keep the facility safe at night and even cut the grass when most of us are asleep."

The railport is the kind of facility where self-driving technology can demonstrate how it can improve efficiency and cut costs, said Coast Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Hickey.

"Just as railroads are often the unsung heroes of the logistics industry, Coast-powered vehicles will happily go about their jobs unnoticed and quietly change the world," he said.