Project Description

Project Goals:

To identify suitable application areas, technical requirements, appropriate business models, and efficiency potentials through the use of remotely controlled vehicles in ports and terminals.


Automated vehicles are increasingly used in public transport areas as well as in closed areas and are increasingly used in freight logistics. Aspects such as a shortage of drivers, a high demand for safety on the road and the desired optimization of traffic flows are promoting the implementation of the technology. In reality, the reliability of automated vehicles under all weather and environmental conditions is a particular challenge. In real-world operation of automated vehicles, accidents or situations still occur, some of them serious, in which the intervention of a human driver becomes necessary. Especially for critical infrastructures such as port terminals, the lack of reliability of the technology is a serious problem. 

In order to benefit from the advantages of automated driving, remote control of vehicles is an intermediate technology. In this case, the vehicle is controlled by a driver in a control center or monitored in such a way that he can intervene directly in critical situations. The question for port and terminal operators is to what extent the use of such vehicles can increase efficiency and improve safety.

Role of the CML in THEO:

The Ports and Transport Markets group contributes its expertise in port and terminal processes. The Port Technologies group has expertise in port technologies and demonstrators.

Project consortium:

Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services (CML) and Project Center Transport, Mobility and Environment of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML).

THEO - News

  • The first milestone of the project is the completion of the currently ongoing potential study by the end of 2023. Using a holistic approach, potential areas of application for the use of teleoperated vehicles in different types of terminals including the technical requirements will be analyzed.
  • The prototypical implementation of one of the identified scenarios as a demonstrator is planned for 2024.