TotalTrax Announces Issuance of Collision Avoidance Patent
TotalTrax, Inc. (TotalTrax), announced today that the US Patent Office has issued TotalTrax a seventh patent, covering a method for collision avoidance.
US patent 8,346,468 entitled “Method and apparatus for collision avoidance”, covers a method developed by TotalTrax to prevent collisions between driven vehicles and automated vehicles operating in the same building. The system keeps track of the location, direction, and speed of all tracked vehicles operating in a facility, and rapidly performs trajectory calculations in real time for each vehicle, determining the probability of collision based on the vehicles’ capabilities and the potential for interaction between the vehicles. The method establishes a “safe zone” around each vehicle, within which other vehicles are not permitted to enter, by sending control commands to automated vehicles (“stop”, “slow down”, or “turn”) and by alerting the operator of driven vehicles to take action if a potential collision exists. In practice, The TotalTrax collision avoidance system is similar to that used by aircraft to keep aircraft safely separated while in flight.
“We are excited to have received this patent from the US Patent Office,” said Mike Kinnard, TotalTrax President & Chief Executive Officer. “This patent is particularly important for our partners and customers who are operating mixed fleets of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and fork trucks in the same facility. This technology is key for creating and managing safe environments for mixed fleets that we believe are the future for more productive and safer materials handling processes.” This latest patent awarded to TotalTrax on January 13, 2013 follows the award of six other patents in the last 24 months. This includes TotalTrax’s initial patent for its ground breaking indoor tracking solutions based on its Sky-Trax vehicle and inventory visibility, tracking and guidance technology.
TotalTrax, Inc. is the leading provider of real time vehicle, driver and inventory tracking technologies and fleet management solutions for manufacturing and warehouse operations. Offering a complete technology platform that transforms traditional material handling vehicles into “smart trucks,” TotalTrax provides solutions that automate data collection and reporting for materials handling operations. With patented hardware, software, reporting and business intelligence tools, TotalTrax delivers substantial value in safety, fleet utilization, labor productivity and inventory accuracy. By automating vehicle usage, maintenance, impacts and lift truck load and location visibility data, customers are able to reduce or eliminate the inaccuracies normally associated with operator input. The resulting business intelligence provides the insight needed to implement immediate improvements resulting in documented productivity gains.