Hyster-Yale Group, Inc., Greenville, N.C., announced plans to collaborate with Honeywell, Morris Plains, N.J., to develop a new line of pallet trucks controlled by voice technology.

These new semi-autonomous lift trucks will be equipped to seamlessly integrate with the Honeywell Vocollect voice solution, which helps workers improve accuracy and productivity through voice interactions. Using this new technology, operators can verbally control the pallet truck’s horizontal movement, saving steps, freeing their hands and allowing them to focus on value-added tasks.

Designed primarily for low-level pick activities, the voice-directed pallet trucks will benefit a wide range of applications and industries, including retail, e-commerce, food and beverage, general warehousing and distribution.

“Low-level order picking can represent up to 70% of labor costs in the average warehouse operation. Our studies showed that by controlling movements of a Hyster or a Yale pallet truck through voice commands in order picking applications, customers can improve operator productivity up to 20%,” says David Furman, president of marketing for Hyster-Yale Group. “We are excited to collaborate with Honeywell and leverage our respective expertise to create significant value for our customers.”

“Honeywell Vocollect voice solutions are innovative workflow performance technologies custom designed for warehouse and distribution center workers. With our unparalleled speech recognition technology, workers can communicate with the system in noisy environments to keep their hands and eyes free,” says Bill Birnie, general manager of voice solutions for Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions. “We are pleased to team up with Hyster-Yale Group to develop this exciting technology.”