Many major companies are allocating millions of dollars in development and research to the latest robotics technologies for automated guided vehicles, according to a Transparency Market Research report released on Friday. These machines can help automate warehouse production, creating a safer and more flexible mode of manufacturing, the report said.

SEE: Special report: The rise of Industrial IoT (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Some of the major players in this market include Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, JBT Corporation, Oceaneering AGV Systems, Toyota Industries Corporation, and Bastian Solutions LLC, the report found. The global automated guided vehicle market is predicted to reach $2.3 billion by 2024.

Automated guided vehicles are most often seen in manufacturing industries, but have also increased in logistics and distribution applications, the report found. These technologies are used in trailer loading, raw material handling and transportation, finished product handling, and conveyors on shop floors.

Sensor-based guidance systems have also expanded over recent years, especially in the application areas of automated guided vehicles including automotive, food and beverage, healthcare, and retail industries.

The key driver for these technologies has been to promote the safety of workers, the report found, but organizations have also seen improved productivity and accuracy in their workers as a result.

For more, check out TechRepublic’s article on How leaders can prepare for the coming Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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