Seegrid Warehouse Robots Cross Accident-Free Million-Mile Mark

An autonomous vehicle company in the Pittsburgh area has surpassed the million-mile mark, but don’t expect to see its robots out and about. Seegrid announced its fleet of self-driving robots marked 1 million miles of driving in warehouses, factories and distribution centers around the country, reports TRIB Live. This was all accomplished with no harm to humans.

“It means that this stuff works,” Jeff Christensen, Seegrid’s vice president of product said. He also pointed out Seecgrid was the first company to reach a million miles. “Nobody else is even in the ballpark,” Christensen said.

The company has been logging miles for its 500 robots for four years, and no test miles were put into the final count. Based in Findlay, the company creates self-driving pallet jacks, tuggers and more warehouse and factory vehicles.

Every three days, someone is killed in a forklift accident, while nearly 35,000 people a year encounter serious injuries, reports Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The majority shareholder in Seegrid, Giant Eagle, which made an investment of $25 million in 2016, runs Seegrid robots in its warehouse in Pittsburgh. Other prominent Seegrid users include Amazon, Boeing, General Motors, and Whirlpool.

Christensen said robots aren’t allowed to travel 60 to 70 mph on a highway to run up the miles. Google spent six years reaching its 1 million mile mark with its self-driving car program. Uber logged its first million for self-driving car miles in September, and then its second million 100 days later.

Seegrid’s robots, however, operate at a walking pace in small distances around factories and warehouses.

“But they work all day,” Christensen said. “They will work three shifts so they will just keep going and going.”