In the world of material handling, the notion of "driverless-ness" has been around for 60 years since the first automated guided vehicle (AGV) appeared in a grocery warehouse. High-tech warehouse operations are already used to the sight of AGVs performing tasks such as the vertical storage and retrieval of pallets and the loading and unloading of pallets onto outbound trailers.
The lift truck market in North America is at an all-time record high in the material handling industry. Total retail orders in all classes, excluding exports, totaled 225,534 units in 2015. It is the first year lift truck sales are higher than the industry's pre-recession level of 215,000 units in 2006.