The critical role of forklifts and their operators in any ecommerce business – transporting payloads to the right order collection point – is often overlooked. Although warehouses rely heavily on automated inventory management systems and organized personnel workflow, the forklift itself is not typically associated with tech innovation or AI technology. However, AI-augmented forklifts have the potential to significantly enhance order processing efficiency, particularly by reducing accident rates and increasing warehouse safety.

Forklift accidents are the most common in heavily trafficked zones where numerous payloads are being transported simultaneously. These accidents can incur significant human and economic costs and disrupt the entire supply chain system. In addition to the time lost in collecting and organizing product orders, accidents require personnel and additional vehicles to redirect transport routes and put everything back into order. Consequently, staff and machinery have to be transferred from their original tasks, leading to delays in meeting delivery deadlines and increasing the likelihood of customer dissatisfaction.

forklift in a warehouse with boosted safety

AI technologies such as driver monitoring and people detection can assist forklift operators in preventing accidents, thereby increasing the safety of warehouse staff and the efficiency of warehouse operations. AI-powered driver monitoring systems, for example, can alert operators when they detect signs of tiredness and potentially risky behaviors such as phone usage and smoking. AI-powered people detection systems make it easier for operators to avoid colliding with colleagues who step within a hazardous range of their vehicle.

The need for AI-augmented forklifts will only increase with the continued rise of ecommerce. As inventory management systems become smarter and personnel workflows become better coordinated, it is vital that forklifts receive an upgrade as well with the integration of AI-powered operator safety and accident prevention features. Read more about the AI-powered people detection and driver monitoring technologies in our new VIA Mobile360 Forklift Safety System to learn how they can boost operator and worksite safety.

If you are interested in learning more about the VIA Mobile360 Forklift Safety System, book a free consultation now.