Seegrid Self-Driving Vehicles Increase Efficiency and Defy Myth that Robots Are Taking Jobs

Aaron Aupperlee, contributor to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, recently reported that as more robots join the workforce, some say it could bring an ‘upswing in jobs’. According to Aupperlee, “For every study predicting doom, there is evidence that automation is not something to be feared. Despite recent advancements in automation, about 34.7 million more Americans have jobs now than 25 years ago, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Weekly earnings have nearly doubled in that time.”

Jim Rock, CEO of Seegrid, stated in the article that companies must innovate to stay alive, as Seegrid’s customers like Giant Eagle, Jaguar Land Rover, and Daimler have done. “I acknowledge that technology is disruptive, but I also firmly believe in the critical nature of investing in competitive advantage to keep companies healthy and alive,” Rock said. “The flip side is, if you do nothing, other companies in other countries will invest in this technology, and then you’ll be left with no company and no jobs.”

Seegrid self-driving vehicles can be found at Giant Eagle’s Pittsburgh retail support center. According to Joe Hurley, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain for Giant Eagle, “If this machine can work with our workers here, it can work anywhere.” If robots are coming for our jobs, they haven’t yet at Giant Eagle’s warehouse. Giant Eagle hasn’t cut its workforce of about 250 since introducing robots nearly 10 years ago, Hurley said.

The Seegrid self-driving vehicles deliver groceries and other products that come into the warehouse to a place for storage. They are about 33 percent more efficient than human-operated pallet jacks performing the same task, Hurley said. “If it took a person three minutes, it takes this machine two minutes,” stated Hurley. “But if we’re putting away hundreds of thousands of pallets a year, those minutes add up.”

“Travel is our enemy,” Hurley said, noting that workers drive the equivalent of a trip to Myrtle Beach and back in a day.  “If we can reduce manned travel, which this does, its really good for us.”

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About Seegrid

Seegrid ( is the leading provider of connected self-driving vehicles for materials handling with hundreds of thousands of miles driven. The Seegrid Smart Platform combines flexible and reliable infrastructure-free vision guided vehicles with fleet management and enterprise intelligence data for a complete connected solution. Seegrid accelerates Industry 4.0 and lean initiatives with incremental automation, helping companies achieve a truly connected enterprise and transform into smart factories of the future.

Follow Seegrid on Twitter at @Seegrid.

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