BYD and Cyngn Provide Preview of AI Powered Autonomous Forklift

The partners showed the first video of a vehicle using Cyngn's self-driving technology with BYD's electric forklift.

Business Wire

Cyngn is combining its autonomy technology with BYD's electric, autonomous forklift.
BYD is combining its electric forklift with Cyngn's AI-driven autonomy technology for a fully autonomous industrial vehicle, according to the partners.

Fully autonomous forklifts got a boost yesterday when Cyngn Inc. announced that it has made “significant progress” adapting its DriveMod artificial intelligence-driven technology to enable forklifts to be self-driving. An ongoing paid contract with an end user in the building materials industry led to the addition of autonomous vehicle capabilties to an electric forklift from BYD Motors LLC.

“Adapting DriveMod to electric forklifts represents a significant milestone in the expansion of Cyngn's portfolio of DriveMod-enabled vehicles to the most universal material handling vehicle,” said Lior Tal, CEO of Cyngn, in a press release. “By combining our expertise in autonomous technology with a leading OEM like BYD, we can create sustainable, autonomous forklifts capable of tackling the most demanding industrial jobs.”

Cyngn said it develops and deploys technologies to address industry challenges such as labor shortages, costly safety incidents, and increased consumer demand for e-commerce. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company's Enterprise Autonomy Suite, its flagship product, includes the DriveMod autonomous vehicle (AV) system.

It also includes the Cyngn Insight customer-facing suite of AV fleet management, teleoperation, and analytics tools. The Cyngn Evolve internal toolkit enables the company to use data from the field for AI, simulation, and modeling.

Cyngn spots autonomous forklift opportunity

The global forklift market was valued at $51.6 billion in 2021 and could reach $103.9 billion by 2031, according to Allied Market Research. This is “a strong indication of the widespread utilization of forklifts in material handling operations worldwide,” noted Cyngn.

Autonomous lift trucks could help companies eliminate the safety risks and delays associated with manual pallet transport workflows, the company claimed. The combination of BYD's material handling capabilities and Cyngn's DriveMod will facilitate the development of an autonomous forklift, it said.

Key features of the DriveMod-enabled BYD forklift include:

  • Flexible pallet detection: The system uses proprietary AI and computer vision to detect and analyze pallet dimensions in real-time, creating flexibility to work with standard, non-standard, and custom pallet sizes.
  • Safety: Cyngn applied DriveMod’s commercially released multilayer perception framework. It uses deep learning, machine learning, and basic collision avoidance to equip autonomous forklifts with safety redundancies and a 360° field of view while unloaded and loaded.
  • Leading load capacity: The company said the BYD forklift has an industry-leading load capacity of 10,000 lb. and the ability to stack multiple units fully autonomously.

“This innovative solution effectively tackles labor shortage and consistency challenges faced by organizations, while simultaneously enhancing safety measures,” asserted Cyngn.

BYD focuses on sustainable development

“This development represents a significant step forward in our commitment to innovation and delivering advanced, next-generation solutions to our customers, who choose BYD because they want to ‘Work Smarter,’” stated Audrey Li, vice president of operations at BYD. “The addition of DriveMod to our forklifts addresses the rising demand for automated solutions.”

“BYD forklifts are powered by a single lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery that is maintenance-free and environmentally friendly,” she explained. “The batteries are designed to run longer and charge faster than traditional electric forklifts. We are excited about the potential impact this technology will have on organizations’ bottom line and look forward to the opportunities it will unlock.”

BYD stands for “Build Your Dreams” and claimed that its electric vehicle technologies work with cars, buses, trucks, forklifts, and rail systems such as Skyrail.

The Pasadena, Calif.-based company described itself as “The Official Sponsor of Mother Nature” because it is dedicated to creating a zero-emission ecosystem including technology for solar electricity generation, energy storage, and battery-powered vehicles.

Globally, BYD said it is committed to corporate social responsibility, monitoring its supply chain in terms of human rights, environmental safety, hazardous substance control, and intellectual property rights.

BYD has more than 700,000 employees around the world, including nearly 1,000 in North America.

Cyngn said it has made significant progress adapting our AI-powered DriveMod to BYD forklifts.

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Business Wire

Cyngn is combining its autonomy technology with BYD's electric, autonomous forklift.

Robot Technologies