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Remote control forklift deal for Mitsubishi

08 July 2021

MITSUBISHI LOGISNEXT Americas group has set up a partnership with Phantom Auto, a provider of interoperable remote operation software, to enable operators who are sitting up to thousands of miles away to remotely operate unmanned tuggers, pallet jacks, counterbalances etc.

The remote human-in-the-loop technology enables logistics operators to improve operator safety and health, reduce downtime and unlock multi-site efficiencies by "teleporting" flex staff on-demand. Phantom will be offering forklifts with Phantom’s software integrated across specific types of electric-powered forklifts from Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas’ UniCarriers and Mitsubishi brands.

Logistics operators can use Phantom’s interoperable solution to:

  • Remotely operate unmanned material handling vehicles from up to thousands of miles away.
  • Complement AMRs and AGVs by remotely monitoring many vehicles simultaneously and remotely assisting or operating vehicles when the autonomy needs human assistance.

Phantom’s vehicle-agnostic software has also been integrated with other leading material handling OEMs. Backed by Bessemer Venture Partners and other leading investors, Phantom is expanding across the logistics and manufacturing industries and is powering use cases as broad as material handling, yard operations, and last-mile delivery.

“Over the past several years, we've proven repeatedly that remote operation is transformational for logistics operators. Phantom is helping customers scale unmanned operations sooner while enabling the next frontier of remote work,” says Phantom Auto co-founder and CEO Shai Magzimof.

Elliot Katz, co-founder and chief business officer, adds: “Our partnership with Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas is a significant milestone in our mission to unlock greater safety, productivity, and operational resilience across the supply chain.”

Worker safety, availability, and retention is top of mind for every supply chain leader, especially amidst the unprecedented challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a recent report from Gartner, 87% of chief supply chain officers say they are planning to invest in resilience and agility over the next two years.

The company argues remote operation is a necessary complement to AGVs and AMRs, helping to address edge cases that prevent autonomous operations from scaling. With a remote human-in-the-loop approach, end-users can confidently scale up unmanned autonomous operations without compromising on operational uptime, throughput, and safety. 

“Remote operation unlocks amazing operational efficiencies for our customers,” says Brian Markison, senior director of AGV sales at Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas (Marengo), Inc. “Our partnership with Phantom enables them to achieve unprecedented oversight and control over their material handling equipment, even with the vehicle operators located states or continents away.”