Yard management and supply chain software supplier, PINC Solutions, will launch a drone technology service called PINC Air at the beginning of next year to provide accurate inventory tracking on a range of products including trailers, finished vehicles and heavy machinery.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed that it had already received interest from two automotive suppliers to test the technology for finished vehicle tracking inside and outside the facilities served.

The drones will be fully autonomous with built in collision avoidance technology and will provide automatic RFID data collection, as well as offering optional video capture.

“This development builds on our existing patent portfolio,” said the spokesperson. “We have held off until we have seen autonomous operation with sophisticated collision avoidance mature. The next significant [step] is to share video of the operation at a customer location, which will happen in the first weeks of 2015.”  

PINC’s spokesperson said that had been working with platform providers to host the mobile readers.

“PINC Air represents yet another industry first, building upon our significant and patented innovations in supply chain execution,” said Matt Yearling, PINC’s CEO, in a statement. “This product addresses a real need for many of our customers operating at significant scale, in delivering high-value low-cost asset tracking capabilities, especially in heavy manufacturing and large lay-down yard situations.”