How One Company's Autonomous Vehicle Tech Can Help Companies Grapple With Labor Shortages Across The Supply Chain

Shortages of everything from personal hygiene products like toilet paper to industrial components like computer chips during the global COVID-19 pandemic put the worldwide supply chain squarely in the spotlight.

But as COVID fears fade, the supply chain faces new challenges, namely a shortage of labor and increased labor costs that are making it difficult for manufacturers, transportation providers, distribution centers, and retailers to keep goods moving.

One Menlo Park, California-based company is helping provide a solution to the problem. Amid a market where labor shortages continue to drive the demand for autonomous solutions, Cyngn CYN is an autonomous vehicle technology company developing software to address industrial uses for autonomous vehicles. Cyngn’s self-driving technology minimizes the need for workers to operate the vehicles used in warehouses across industries, and reduces the cost of expensive labor. 

Cyngn is building the software to deploy autonomous vehicle solutions. But for end-users, the company’s software is integrated into time-tested industrial vehicles from forklifts to Columbia Vehicle Group’s Stockchaser. When Cyngn deploys an autonomous vehicle at a facility, the solution also comes with fleet management and analytics tools necessary to optimize an organization’s operations.

Working Around The Labor Shortage

Businesses spent an estimated $140 billion on human labor across 20,000 U.S. warehouses in 2021, according to a Statista report cited in Cyngn’s investor presentation.  

Additionally, Cyngn cited an MHI Deloitte report which found that more than half of supply chain and manufacturing leaders rate hiring and employee retention as their biggest challenge, and 73% say it takes more than 30 days to fill open positions.

Fortunately, Cyngn’s DriveMod technology provides a solution to these challenges. A company case study at a Las Vegas third-party logistics (3PL) facility found that the deployment of Cyngn’s DriveMod-enabled Autonomous Stockchaser led to an immediate increase in efficiency. Using a single Autonomous Stockchaser specifically produced a 64% reduction in human labor costs in comparison to using a forklift and a 33% increase in efficiency in comparison to using an electric pallet jack.

Cyngn recently inked a partnership deal with a U.S. based manufacturing company to scale the production of its DriveMod Kit for autonomous stockchasers. DriveMod Kit is a scalable solution for integrating Cyngn’s autonomous vehicle technology onto vehicles, designed for either retrofitting existing stockchasers or integration into newly manufactured ones.

DriveMod Kit’s easy installation creates more flexible and rapid deployment options for customers who are interested in leveraging Cyngn’s Enterprise Autonomy Suite across a wide range of industrial and commercial domains. 

Several manufacturers have recognized the value that Cyngn’s autonomous vehicle solutions can bring to their operations. Cyngn's vehicle-agnostic vision helps solve a key issue for the future of companies that need to automate several different vehicle form factors, as the company says its software has applications across industries ranging from logistics to mining.

In September, Cyngn also announced it had signed a contract with a leading global building materials manufacturer to spearhead the development of the company’s next DriveMod-enabled vehicle platform — electric forklifts.

And in November, U.S. Continental, a manufacturer of leather and fabric care products, signed a contract to use self-driving stockchasers powered by Cyngn’s Enterprise Autonomy Suite to transport pallets of materials throughout its main manufacturing plant in Corona, California, starting in early 2023. 

“We are excited about the opportunity to help U.S. Continental overcome current supply chain challenges, increase productivity and reduce operating costs through the implementation of our Enterprise Autonomy Suite,” Cyngn CEO Lior Tal said at the time the deal was announced. “This is a critical time for manufacturers to stay competitive through the utilization of industrial automation to adapt to a changing business landscape.”

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