As technology and automation become more commonplace, we will see, in the not too distant future, autonomous and electric vehicles making more of an impact in the Off-Highway industries.
Autonomous tractors use a lot of the same advanced sensors and systems that a true self-driving vehicle would, so it is no surprise that these are taking the lead in heavy vehicle automation. However, material handing is is far further forward in terms of robotics and vehicle automation, this has been the driving force pushing the material handing sector forward for many years. New equipment is being developed at an phenomenal rate and these systems are increasingly being adopted in warehouses and production facilities for automating all processes. The growing transportation & logistics industry in the U.S. is providing growth opportunities whilst stringent government regulations related to operator safety in Europe are compelling manufacturers to use high-quality machines that comply with the existing standards. Key OM’s in the material handling equipment market such as Hyster-Yale group, KUKA AG, Kion Group AG and JBT Corporation, to name a few, are launching new solutions to meet the demand for vehicle automation.
But, how does vehicle lighting fit into the mix?
Lighting plays an important role in autonomous vehicle design to improve safety and viability to those working around the machine. TYRI is developing new intelligent lighting systems to aid in automation vehicle design. These systems can be integrated, remote controlled and sensor operated. TYRI INTELLilight system is the first to deliver functions such as the option to have two colour temperature settings delivered from the same light. The system can be stand alone or integrated with CAN-BUS meaning it has applications outside the automation vehicle too.
Alongside the predictions for autonomous vehicles is the advance in electric vehicle technology, which again is advancing in the material handling sector at a rapid pace. This take over has many OE manufacturers racing to be the leading force in this new field of equipment.
However, with quieter and cleaner engines, additional safety concerns become apparent. Warning and lighting systems need to be much more visual, so workers can identify when a machine is approaching and from which direction. This is where effective lighting is key to safety, especially since electric vehicles can provide a bigger horsepower without added noise or fumes to enclosed working spaces; like those in a warehouse.
When thinking about lighting in Electric vehicles, it also pays to look at the latest technology. LED’s draw less power than Halogen’s reducing the strain on your machine battery. This ensures more power is available for other applications such as on-board computers or more lighting to the area around your machine, all, in most cases, without increasing the capacity of your alternator. Running time is also a factor – with lower energy draw, battery life is increased, and the vehicle can remain in operation longer.
TYRI is an expert at designing lighting that is fit for purpose. This involves looking at the application in its entirety and knowing that it isn’t about the brightness of the light, rather the direction it is focused, the main purpose of the lighting and the effect on those working around the machines. The whole picture needs to be understood before an effective solution can be developed. The lighting solution also needs to complement the machine design to help it stand out from the competition.
Done correctly, the right lighting can make a manufacturers electric vehicle unique and effective but also increase safety on work sites, either underground or on the surface.
TYRI is at the forefront of technological advancements. Leading the way in advanced lighting solutions.