Škoda tests autonomous drone

Škoda is currently testing advanced drone technology that can identify and count empty containers outside the factory from the air.

Škoda has collaborated with Czech company Robodrone to implement the first testing phase. The drone is equipped with LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology to accurately identify and count unoccupied containers at the car manufacturer’s factory in Mladá Boleslav. The data is then automatically transferred to the logistics department to be processed.

The drone can fly up to 20 km/h and can carry a load of up to 5kg. A LIDAR sensor captures up to 300,000 images per second and navigates using a 3D map. The drone detects and counts the equipment containers using designed algorithms developed specifically for Škoda.

Testing has been live since May 2018 and the technology has seamlessly integrated into Škoda’s regular operations. During the next development phase, the drone will get its own ‘nest’ and the battery-powered device will then be able to autonomously navigate to a charging station.