Automated Guided Vehicles - A Review on Applications, Problem Modeling and Solutions

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, Department of Computer Science, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, IranAllameh Tabatabaiee University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assiatant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


In the past few decades, many research pieces were devoted to Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), both in hardware and software technology. Nowadays, these are popular for the automatic handling of materials, goods, and containers. They provide more efficient and flexible solutions for manufacturing and transportation systems. This paper does a survey on Automated Guided Vehicles in the real world, in port automation for automatic container handling and manufacturing systems for flexible material handling systems. The results of this survey reveal several corollaries over usage, modeling of problems, and solutions. Moreover, it presents several challenges for future research. The first challenge is to perform a simulation model that can handle multiple layouts in both container terminals and manufacturing systems. The second challenge is to work on the new technology of AGVs, which involves Industry 4.0. The third challenge is concerned with some dynamic vehicle routing strategies based on a two-tiered simulation. The fourth challenge is to develop more efficient algorithms for various problems of routing AGVs in practical applications.


-       2H House (2020), Availabale on
-  Akturk, M. S. and Yilmaz M. (1996) “scheduling of automated guided vehicles in a decision making hierarchy”, International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 34, pp. 577–591.
-  Ali, M. and Wasif U. K. (2010) “ Implementations Issues of AGVs in Flexible Manufacturing System: A Review”, Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management January Vol. 11, No. 1–2, pp 55–61.
-  AURENV (2020), VRP Web, (Accessed on 10/18/2020).
-  Barberá, H. M. and Herrero-Perez D. (2010) “Development of a flexible AGV for flexible manufacturing systems”, Industrial Robot, Vol. 37, No. 5, PP. 459-468.
-  Böse, J., Reiners, T., Steenken, D. and Voß S. (2000) “Vehicle Dispatching at Seaport Container Terminals Using Evolutionary Algorithms”, Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, pp. 1–10.
-  Broadbent, A.J., Besant, C.B., Premi S. K. and Walker S.P. (1985) “Free Ranging AGV Systems: Promises, Problems and Pathways”, In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Automated Materials Handling, IFS, Springer, pp. 221–237.
-  Cai, B., Huang, S., Liu, D., Yuan, S., Dissanayake, G., Lau, H. and Pagac D. (2012) ” Multi-Objective Optimisation for Autonomous Straddle Carrier Scheduling at Automated Container Terminals”, IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 711–725.
-  Chaudhry, A. C., Mahmood, S. and Shami, M. (2011) “Simultaneous scheduling of machines and automated guided vehicles in flexible manufacturing systems using genetic algorithms”, Journal of Central South University of Technology, Vol. 18, No. 5, pp. 1473-1486.
-  Chawla, V.K., Chandab, A.k. Angra, S. (2018) “Scheduling of Multi-Load AGVs In FMS By Modified Memetic Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm”, Journal Of Project Management, Vol. 3, pp. 39–54.
-  Cheng, Y., Sen, H., Natarajan, K., Teo, C. and Tan K. (2003) “Dispatching Automated Guided Vehicles in a Container Terminal”, Technical Report, National University of Singapore, 2003.
-  Corréa, A.I., Langevin, A. and Rousseau L.M. (2007) “Scheduling and Routing of Automated Guided Vehicles: A Hybrid Approach”, Computers & Operations Research, Vol. 34, pp. 1688–1707.
-  De. Ryck, M., Versteyhe, M. and Debrouwere, F. (2020) “Automated guided vehicle systems, state-of-the-art control algorithms and techniques”, Journal of Manufacturing Systems 54, pp. 152-173.
Demesure, G., Defoort, M., Bekrar, A., Trentesaux, D. and Djemaï M. (2018) ‘‘Decentralized motion planning and scheduling of AGVs in an FMS’’, IEEE Trans. Ind. Informat., Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 1744–1752.
-  Dondo, R., Mndez, C.A. and Cerd, J. (2003) “ An Optimal Approach to the Multiple-Depot Heterogeneous Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Window and Capacity Constraints”, Latin American Applied Research, Vol. 33, pp. 129–134.
-  Edrissi  A. , Askari M.,   Costa C.S. (2019) “Electric-vehicle car-sharing in one-way car-sharing systems considering depreciation costs of vehicles and chargers”, International Journal of Transportation Engineering, Volume 7, No. 2, pp. 127-138
-  Fazlollahtabar, H., Eshaghzadeh, A., Hajmohammadi, H. and Taheri–Ahangar A. (2012) “A Monte Carlo Simulation to Estimate TAGV Production Time in a Stochastic Flexible Automated Manufacturing System: A Case Study”, International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Vol. 12, No 3, pp. 243–258.
-  Fazlollahtabar, H. and Saidi-Mehrabad M. (2013) “Methodologies to Optimize Automated Guided Vehicle Scheduling and Routing Problems: A Review Study”, Journal of Intelligent & Robotic, Springer, Vol. 77, pp. 525-545.
-  Ghannadpour, S. F., Abdolhadi, Z. (2017), The Special Application of Vehicle Routing Problem with Uncertainty Travel Times: Locomotive Routing Problem, Volume 5, No. 2, pp. 119-136.
-  Gribkovskaia, I., Halskau, O., Bugge, M. and Kim N. (2002) “Models for Pick-Up and Deliveries from Depots with Lasso Solutions”, Working Paper, Molde University College, Norway.
-  Grunow, M., Günther, H.O. and Lehmann, M.(2004) “Dispatching Multi-Load AGVs in Highly Automated Seaport Container Terminals”, OR Spectrum, Vol. 26, No 2, pp. 211–235.
-  Gu, W., Li, Y., Zheng, K., and Yuan, M. (2020) “A bio-inspired scheduling approach for machines and automated guided vehicles in flexible manufacturing system using hormone secretion principle”, Advances in Mechanical Engineering, Vol. 12, No 2, pp. 1-17.
-  Hasama, T., Kokubugata H. and Kawashima H. (1998) “A Heuristic Approach Based on the String Model to Solve Vehicle Routing Problem with Backhauls”, Proceeding of the 5th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems, Seoul, South Korea.
-  Héctor, J.C., Iris, F.A. and Kees, J.R. (2014) “ Transport Operations in Container Terminals: Literature Overview, Trends, Research Directions and Classification Scheme”, European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 236, No. 1, pp. 1–13.
-  Homayouni, S.M., Tang, S.H., Ismail, N. and Ariffin M. K. A. (2011) “Using Simulated Annealing Algorithm for Optimization of Quay Cranes and Automated Guided Vehicles Scheduling”, International Journal of the Physical Sciences, Vol. 6, No. 27, pp. 6286–6294.
-  Hosseini, A. and Sahlin, T. (2018) “An Optimization Model for Management of Empty Containers in Distribution Network of a Logistics Company Under Uncertainty”, Journal of Industrial Engineering International, PP. 1-8.
-  Hsu, W.J. and Huang, S.Y. (1994) “Route Planning of Automated Guided Vehicles”, In Proceedings of Intelligent Vehicles, Paris, France, pp. 479–485.
-  Jianyang, Z., Wen-Jing, H. and Yee, V.V. (2003) “An AGV-Routing Algorithm in the Mesh Topology with Random Partial Permutation”, Technical Report, Centre for Advanced Information Systems, School of Computer Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
-  Kaspi, M. and Tanchoco J. M. A. (1990) “Optimal Flow Path Design of Uni-Directional AGV Systems”, International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 28, pp. 915–926.
-  Lau, H.C. and Liang, Z. (2001) “Pickup and Delivery with Time Windows: Algorithms and Test Case Generation”, Proceedings of the 13th IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence, IEEE, Dallas, TX, pp. 333–340.
-  Leong, C.Y. (2001) “Simulation Study of Dynamic AGV-Container Job Deployment Scheme”, Master of Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
-  Lűbbecke, M. (2000) “Combinatorially Simple Pickup and Delivery Paths”, Central European Journal of Operations Research, Berlin, Germany.
-  Maoudj, A., Bouzouia, B., Hentout, A., Kouider, A. and Toumi, R. (2019) “Distributed multi-agent scheduling and control system for robotic flexible assembly cells”, Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 1629-1644.
-  Medikondu, N., Narayanarao, K. and Rangajanardhana, G. (2017) “Scheduling of Machines and Automated Guided Vehicles in FMS Using Gravitational Search Algorithm”, Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 867, PP. 307-313.
-  Meersmans, P. J. M. and Wagelmans, A. P. M. (2001) “Effective Algorithms for Integrated Scheduling of Handling Equipment at Automated Container Terminals”, Technical Report EI 2001-19, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Econometric Institute, the Netherlands.                                   
-  Mehami, J., Nawi, M. and Zhong, R.Z. (2018) “ Smart automated guided vehicles for manufacturing in the context of Industry 4.0”, Procedia Manufacturing, Vol. 26, PP. 1077-1086.
-  Mitrovic-Minic S. (1998) “Pickup and Delivery Problem with Time Window: A Survey”, Technical Report 1998-12, School of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.
-  Moorthy, R.L., Hock-Guan, W., Wig-Cheong, N. and Chung-Piaw T. (2003) “Cyclic Deadlock Prediction and Avoidance for Zone Controlled AGV System”, International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 83, pp. 309–324.
-  Murty, K. G. (2007) “Yard Crane Pools and Optimum Layouts for Storage Yards of Container Terminals”, Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 190–199.
-  Nageswararao, M., Narayanaraobd, K. and Ranagajanardhana, G. (2014) “Simultaneous Scheduling of Machines and AGVs in Flexible Manufacturing System with Minimization of Tardiness Criterion”, Procedia Materials Science, Vol. 5, PP. 1492-1501
-  Nguyen, V. D. and Kim, K. H. (2009) “A Dispatching Method for Automated Lifting Vehicles in Automated Port Container Terminals”, Computers & Industrial Engineering, Vol. 56, pp. 1002–1020.
-  Nicola, A., Eleonora, C. and Mirceab, P. (2017) “The Maximum Parametric Flow in Discrete-time Dynamic Networks”, Fundamenta Informaticae, Vol. 156, No. 2, pp. 125-139.
-  Polten, L. and Emde, S. (2020) “Scheduling automated guided vehicles in very narrow aisle warehouses, Omega (United Kingdom), 102204, Article in Press.
-  Qiu, L. and Hsu, W. J. (2001) “A Bi-Directional Path Layout for Conflict-Free Routing of AGVs”, International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 39, No. 10, pp. 2177–2195.
-  Qiu, L., Hsu W. J. (2000) “Algorithms for Routing AGVs on a Mesh Topology”, Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Parallel Computing, pp. 595–599, Springer-Verlag, Munich, Germany.
-  Qiu, L. and Hsu, W. J. (2000) “Conflict-Free AGV Routing in a Bi-Directional Path Layout”, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Vol. 1, Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Singapore, pp. 392–403.
-  Qiu, L., Hsu, W. J., Huang, S. Y. and Wang, H. (2002) “Scheduling and Routing Algorithms for AGVs: A Survey”, International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 745–760.
-  Qiu, L. and Hsu, W. J. (2000) “Routing AGVs by Sorting”, Proceedings of the International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Processing Techniques and Applications, Vol. 3, pp. 1465–1470, CSREA Press, Las Vegas, NV.
Rahimikelarijani, B., Saidi-Mehrabad, M. and Barzinpour, F. (2019) “A Mathematical Model for Multiple-Load AGVs in Tandem Layout”, Journal of Optimization in Industrial Engineering, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 67-80
-  Rahman, H. and Nielsen, I. (2019) “Scheduling Automated Transport Vehicles for Material Distribution Systems”, Applied Soft Computing, Vol. 82, pp. 1-17.
-  Rashidi, H. (2010), Scheduling Single-Load and Multi-Load AGVs in Container Terminals, Amir-Kabir Journal of Science and Technology, Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 1–10.
-  Rashidi, H. and Tsang, E. P. K. (2016) “Vehicle Scheduling in Port Automation: Advanced Algorithms for Minimum Cost Flow Problems, Second Edition. CRC Press, New York.
-  Rashidi, H. and Tsang, E. P. K. (2005) “Applying the Extended Network Simplex Algorithm and a Greedy Search Method to Automated Guided Vehicle Scheduling”, Proceedings of the 2nd Multidisciplinary International Conference on Scheduling: Theory & Applications, New York University, Vol. 2, pp. 677–692.
-  Rashidi, H. and Tsang, E. P. K. (2011) “A complete and an incomplete algorithm for automated guided vehicle scheduling in container terminals”, Computer and Mathematics with Applications, Vol. 61, pp. 630–641.
-  Shih, L.H. and Chang H.C. (2001), “A Routing and Scheduling System for Infectious Waste Collection”, Environmental Modelling & Assessment, Vol. 6, pp. 261–69.
-  Stopka, O. (2020) “Modeling the Delivery Routes Carried out by Automated Guided Vehicles when Using the Specific Mathematical Optimization Method”, Open Engineering, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 166-174.
-  Tan, K. C., Lee, L. H., Zhu, Q. L., Ou, K. (2000) “Heuristic Methods for Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows”, Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligent in Engineering, pp. 281-295.
-  Thurston, T. and Hsu, H. (2002) “Distributed agent architecture for port automation”, Proceedings of the 26th annual international computer software and applications conference (COMPSAC’02), Oxford, August 26–29. IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, pp 81–87.
-  Toth, P. (2003) “The Vehicle Routing Problem Discrete Math”, SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) Press, Philadelphia, PA.
-  Wang, Z. X., Felix, T. S., Chung, S. H. and Niu, B. (2014) “A Decision Support Method for Internal Truck Employment”, Industrial Management and Data Systems, Vol. 114, No. 9, pp. 1378–1395.
-  Wook, B. J. and Hwan, K. K. (2000) “A Pooled Dispatching Strategy for Automated Guided Vehicles in Port Container Terminals”, International Journal of Management Science, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 47–67.
-  Yoshitake, H., Kamoshida, R. and Nagashima, Y. (2019) “New Automated Guided Vehicle System Using Real-Time Holonic Scheduling for Warehouse Picking”, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 1045-1052,
-  Zhang, C., Wan, Y., Liu, J. and Linn, R.J. (2002), Dynamic Crane Deployment in Container Storage Yard, Transportation Research B, Vol. 36, pp. 537–555.
-  Zhicheng, B., Weijian, M., Xiaoming, Y., Ning, Z. and Chao, M. (2014) “Modified Hungarian Algorithm for Real-Time ALV Dispatching Problem in Huge Container Terminals, Journal of Networks, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 123–130.