This stuff happens during a “normal” day in a warehouse. Imagine the accident rate during the hyper-busy, hyper-stressed period we’re now in with shoppers doing the majority of their shopping online with the expectation of rapid delivery. With forklift drivers under intense pressure to move product quickly, it’s not a stretch to believe collisions and near misses are up dramatically.
So how do we keep our essential supply chain workers safe in the wake of COVID-19 and
the ongoing tension as the industry finds its footing?
SIERA.AI, an Austin-based tech startup, has a suggestion: Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled forklifts that sense and prevent forklift accidents before they happen while at the same time tracking and delivering invaluable, real-time performance data for analysis and driver support.
The SIERA Safety System (S3) is a forklift collision prevention system made possible with some pretty nifty cloud-enabled AI technology. Company co-founder and CEO Saurav Agarwal likens it to having a virtual “co-pilot” working with the human forklift operator to keep him or her, other employees, product, and infrastructure accident-free. The data component adds a critical layer for management in gaining insight into behavior, accident-prone areas within a facility and how best to proceed.
“Humans, by nature, are accident prone. The purpose of S3 is to advance situational awareness using AI so no matter how distracted or stressed a forklift driver is, accidents are prevented. S3 literally stops the forklift from colliding with people, pallets, totes, and racks without driver intervention,” Agarwal explains. “The management component is equally important because data tells a story that’s not always apparent such as a floor layout or processes that unintentionally facilitate accidents.” He adds, “Given the COVID-19 environment and the need to keep essential workers safe physically and emotionally, this technology is more essential than ever.”
The beauty of S3 is the ease and low cost of implementation. Other than the software, there is no equipment to buy. Virtually any lift truck can be retrofitted with the S3 IoT device and operational within 45 minutes. Training for drivers is minimal. It’s as simple as turning the system on and going about regular tasks. Any potential accidents will be averted. See for yourself how S3 works here.