Back in March of 2022, we introduced you to SEnS, Toyota’s pedestrian detection system. The suite of sensors helps operators detect people that might be in their blind spots by sounding a buzzer and flashing lights.
Toyota hasn’t stopped there though. Late last year, they released an upgraded version of SEnS, labelled SEnS+. This and all other operator-assist features now fall under the “Toyota Assist” umbrella. SEnS+ takes the platform to a new level by adding in travel speed controls and enhancing the sensor suite.
When the forklift detects a pedestrian or object, based on the zones you define, the truck’s speed is limited. This gives your operators more time to react accordingly and prevents panic throttling. If the truck is already stopped when the obstruction is detected, the starting movement is limited. Once the truck speed is reduced, notifications are reduced as well. Note, that it won’t stop the truck completely, it only applies enough regenerative braking to slow the forklift down. And finally, SEnS+ adjusts the notification and zone distances based on the vehicle’s direction of travel. For instance, when taking a turn, the zones will adjust to become greater on the inside and lesser on the outside, taking vehicle speed and load into account. That can help reduce unnecessary notifications as well.
You’ve probably noticed that reducing unnecessary notifications is a big deal with SEnS+. Alert fatigue is a phenomenon where users become desensitized due to an overwhelming volume of alerts, either ignoring or delaying their response. With a safety system, this can lead to the same disastrous results as never having the system in the first place. Therefore, reducing the number of notifications keeps the ones that remain relevant and attention worthy.
Unlike the original SEnS, this version can’t be retrofitted to older models. Currently, SEnS+ is available on two models as an add-on: The 3-Wheel Electric and the Core Electric Forklift. However, expect that list to grow as the year continues.