Third Wave Automation and Toyota Industries Announce Strategic Partnership to Produce Next Generation Autonomous Material Handling Vehicles

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Autonomous material handling vehicle capabilities, such as dynamic navigation, advanced load handling, shared autonomy with remote operator console, fleet control, and WMS integration are all included in the strategic partnership.

Third Wave Automation, Inc. ("Third Wave") and Toyota Industries Corporation ("TICO") today announced a strategic partnership to produce the next generation of intelligent, fully autonomous material handling vehicles.

Third Wave's unique approach to automated material handling vehicles was conceived with machine learning at its core. Following years of research and development, this strategic partnership agreement validates Third Wave's "shared autonomy" solution. By integrating intelligent robotics into material handling vehicles, which can be deployed rapidly and evolve dynamically, this strategic partnership between TICO and Third Wave is set to define the industry's agenda for the next generation.

The global material handling equipment market is projected to expand from USD$211.8 billion in 2019 to USD$320.9 billion by 2027, a CAGR of 5.4%. Driven by the rapid growth of e-commerce, with consumer spending at nearly USD$3.5 trillion in 2019 with a year-over-year growth rate of 17.9%, automation will play a critical role in revolutionizing business practices to meet this demand while keeping production and logistics costs down. (cited from an October 2020 issue of Fortune Business Insights, Material Handling Equipment Market Report)

"We believe the strategic partnership between TICO and Third Wave will generate incredible results in the production and distribution of high quality, next-generation autonomous material handling vehicles," said Arshan Poursohi, CEO of Third Wave. "Third Wave's breakthrough in shared autonomy will leverage artificial intelligence and remote operator oversight to unlock revolutionary increases in efficiency and throughput. Our autonomous material handling vehicles continually learn on the job."

"Our strategic development efforts with Third Wave over the past years represent TICO's continuing commitment to advanced automation solutions," said Hisashi Ichijo, Executive Officer of TICO. "Third Wave's use of dynamic navigation, advanced perception in high-racks and use of shared autonomy are on the forefront of autonomous vehicle technology," Ichijo added.

About Third Wave Automation
Third Wave Automation was founded in 2018 in Union City, California as a producer of advanced autonomous industrial solutions. Third Wave's technology is at the forefront of autonomous material handling, with improved efficiency and throughput by leveraging shared autonomy - a breakthrough in machine learning, computer vision, and robotics. Third Wave is backed by $19M in venture capital from leading investors including Eclipse, Innovation Endeavors, Heartland Ventures, Homebrew, and Toyota AI Ventures, and counts Toyota Industries Corporation as a strategic partner.

To learn more about how Third Wave Automation is driving next generation industrial automation solutions using Shared Autonomy, please explore

About Toyota Industries Corporation
Toyota Industries was founded in 1926 in Japan as a manufacturer of the automatic looms which the founder, Sakichi Toyoda had invented and perfected. Since then, Toyota Industries has expanded the scope of its business domains and currently manufactures various products including textile machinery, car air-conditioning compressors, automobiles, engines, car electronics, and material handling equipment. Especially, our lift trucks, car air-conditioning compressors and air-jet looms are world-wide best sellers*. Toyota Industries Group has approximately 67,000 employees and the net sales is 2,118.3 bn yen in FY2021.

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