ASI’s Smart Yard Shifting Autonomous yard driving can be a reality for your distribution center

ASI’s Smart Yard Shifting Autonomous yard driving can be a reality for your distribution center

ASI’s Smart Yard Shifting Autonomous yard driving can be a reality for your distribution center

ASI’s Smart Yard Shifting Autonomous yard driving can be a reality for your distribution center

ASI’s Smart Yard Shifting Autonomous yard driving can be a reality for your distribution center

Efficiently manage the movement of goods through a distribution center with ASI Facility Robotics’ Smart Yard Shifting solution.

Our Smart Yard Shifting solution can help you:

Identify trailers

Retrieve trailers

Move trailers 24/7

Navigate to loading and unloading areas in a safe, efficient, and timely manner with minimal human intervention.

Improve Safety & Accuracy

Improve Process Efficiency, Productivity, and Cost Savings

A large distribution center might receive and ship more than ten thousand truckloads each year, with an individual store receiving from only a couple of trucks per week up to 20, 30, or more per week. Distribution centers range in size from less than 50,000 square feet (5,000 m2) to the largest identified in 2015 approaching 3 million square feet (300,000 m2).[1]

What major problems are distribution centers currently facing?

Staffing & Scheduling

Especially in large areas, the day-to-day, hour-to-hour operation is extremely monotonous. There’s little variation from one trailer to the next, one bay to another. From a human perspective, it's a dull and sometimes dangerous job.

A distribution center’s workload is rarely steady. Changes in demand and staffing needs occur day-to-day, week-to-week, and season-to-season. Retailers are known to use a combination of overtime, overstaffing, and temp workers to manage these fluctuations.


The efficient use of resources on site, both mechanical and human, is imperative for success. We've done tests where several people hopped into a Terberg truck, then hopped out to run to the back of the truck and hook up the gladhand to connect the air brake system. After that, each tester got back into the truck again. Some testers took a break or simulated a small break, some simulated going to the bathroom, the best case scenario was a ninety-second turnaround.

It's important to look where the time is spent when you have a human driver. Every time a driver backs up a trailer to a dock or parking spot they have to park the truck, connect or disconnect a brake line, and get back in the truck.

When you add up the time spent on this process in a 24/7 operation, it's easy to see the benefits of automation.

How ASI Yard Shifting Helps You Overcome Yard Management Challenges

Effective yard management is a complex topic in today’s ever-evolving supply chain. PINC.com reports that poor planning on the part of warehouse managers can lead to extensive fees or detention charges, irritability and anger among truck drivers and employees, and excessive gait and congestion. Meanwhile, warehouse managers struggle with maintaining visibility and control over trucks, personnel, and assets in their yards. ASI's Smart Yard Shifting solution can help warehouse managers overcome these challenges.

Increase Shipment and Trailer Visibility

Increase Shipment and Trailer Visibility

The first step to overcoming yard management challenges lies in gaining visibility into shipments and trailers. This includes getting visibility into empty trailers, freight waiting to be loaded and delays during exiting. Yard managers should use tracking technologies, such as radio frequency identification, GPS, and Bluetooth-enabled technologies, to monitor shipment location and trailer status.

Monitor Operations for Safety and Compliance

Monitor Operations for Safety and Compliance

Fewer personnel on the ground between trailers and trucks and docks means fewer chances for unsafe situations to arise. Automation and tele-operation keep people out of harm's way.

Automate Truck Arrival and Exiting Notifications, Including Check-in Processes

Automate Truck Arrival and Exiting Notifications, Including Check-in Processes

The use of automated tracking technology helps to automate notifications for truck arrival and exiting. This can streamline check-in processes, letting dock supervisors know when a truck arrives or leaves. Paired with shipment tracking, this helps reduce deadhead as well.

Clearly Identify & Define Yard Zones

Clearly Identify & Define Yard Zones

Depending on the size of your company, you may work with many drivers who have not previously been to your yard. As a result, your company needs to invest in the necessary training to be able to run a safe operation.

ASI's Smart Yard Shifting solution clearly identifies and defines your yard zones such as Arrival Zone, Pick-Up Zone, Empties, Repairs, Priority Loads, and more. The Mobius? command and control software platform helps you capture important information such as arrival time, trailer number, driver, contents, seal number, release date, and more. This system helps to make all players accountable on how and where they move trailers.

Educate Team Members, Drivers, Vendors and All Others Involved

Educate Team Members, Drivers, Vendors and All Others Involved

Inform all team members, drivers, vendors and other personnel involved in yard operations of proper procedures and protocols, including how to use appropriate YMS functions to streamline the arrival, loading and unloading, and departure of trucks. This should also include a thorough review of all your business “green,” such as reducing fuel costs by eliminating the number of hours a perishable shipment sits in a running truck in your yard.

Track Appropriate Key Performance Indicators

Track Appropriate Key Performance Indicators

The only way to track and measure the performance of assets, drivers, team members and other factors lies in using appropriate key performance indicators, powered by advanced supply chain analytics. According to Steve Baker of Logistics Viewpoints, this includes automated appointment booking rates, gate reception compliance, percentage rates for empty, loading, loaded and delayed truck activities, assets sitting in the yard, fuel levels, detention charges and more.

Coordinate Yard Management and Warehouse Systems

Coordinate Yard Management and Warehouse Systems

While implementing a YMS is great, overcoming yard management challenges requires an inherent efficiency in warehouse operations. As a result, managers should coordinate actions and activities through integrated YMS, transportation management system (TMS), and appropriate warehousing systems, such as warehouse execution system (WPS) or order management system (OMS).

Measure Velocity

Measure Velocity

Product velocity refers to a measure of mover speed at your distribution center. According to the experts, accessing units in easy-to-access areas is essential to a distribution company’s success in the coming years. Mobius? is the solution to defining optimal zones for your stock-keeping units so your distribution center can run to its optimal capacity.


How it Works

Each vehicle is equipped with a series of hardware and software components that permit a user to toggle between manual and robotic control. Once installed, a remote operator has control over the critical vehicle functions of ignition, transmission, steering, braking, and acceleration.


Advanced Path Planning

Use advanced path-generating algorithms in Mobius? to generate complex events with full control over all vehicle functions. Create accurate, repeatable scenarios involving ideal turns, quick acceleration or braking, and other critical variables that allow for optimal performance in a yard environment.



Path Builder

Creates a drivable path that can be customized to match testing needs and course routes.



Event Planning

Execute actions at a specific point in a path. Functions include: acceleration, deceleration, stop, wait, lane change, variable force braking, roll over, and more...



Vehicle Tasking

Vehicles can be tasked to run routes as many times as needed. No need to switch drivers out due to hazardous road conditions, fatigue, and driver breaks.


Mobius Command & Control


Mobius Mapbuilder

Map Builder

Simple Site Setup

Quickly generate custom maps, designate lanes and roadways, set safety perimeters, and create drivable areas with Map Builder. Experience the simple, clean Mobius interface that leverages advanced design and development techniques and incorporates user testing results from industry professionals.

Mobius Choreographer


Proximity Monitor

When multiple vehicles are on a track at the same time, Proximity Monitor tracks their location, direction and speed. If paths may cross, it directs vehicles to react appropriately to avoid collisions.

Safe Area Lockout

These areas exist around autonomous vehicles and can be designated around human controlled vehicles on a track. Unmanned vehicles will stop if they approach any designated safe areas.


If unmanned vehicles leave the safety area or lose signal, the e-stop override immediately applies the brake.

Mobius Productivity


Multi-Vehicle Operation

Enjoy greater productivity and economies of scale as a single operator controls multiple unmanned vehicles interacting in the same area or at dispersed locations.


Improve productivity with embedded artificial intelligence modules that automatically task vehicles, generate maps and paths, and more.

Mobius Feedback

Feedback & Control

Live Telemetry

View real-time gauges and meters that display a vehicle’s current speed, gear, RPM, fuel level, and more...

Manual Mode

Easily switch between autonomous mode and manual mode to control the vehicle manually when needed.