First Standards for Guided Industrial Vehicles

ASTM International’s committee on driverless automatic guided industrial vehicles (F45) has published its first four standards. These standards provide consensus terminology as well as the initial test methods and practices that will help manufacturers measure performance, including specific tasks for vehicles.

Organizers say this technical foundation will support industry growth.

“Automatic guided vehicles, or AGVs, have been around since the 1950s,” says committee chairman Roger Bostelman, project manager in the Intelligent Systems Division at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“Over the years, the body of research on mobile robots has grown, including autonomous navigation and docking capabilities,” Bostelman says. “But only now do we have standards in this area, including a single set of terms that helps us measure and evaluate products.”

The first standard compiles relevant terminology (F3200). The other three standards are:

  • A practice that helps record the test environment for automatic through autonomous unmanned ground vehicles (A-UGVs) (F3218);
  • A standard that helps test the A-UGV’s ability to navigate various physical and virtual boundaries (F3244); and
  • A test method that simultaneously measures an obstruction entering the A-UGV path and the A-UGV position, as well as the decrease in vehicle speed, thereby measuring reduction in kinetic energy (F3265).

Bostelman and other committee members are encouraging people in the AGV community to join. “Knowing how users wish to specifically apply these vehicles to their needs would be helpful in our standards development,” he says.

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