Phantom Auto Buys Voysys To Boost Remote Operation Capabilities

Tech Industry

Silicon Valley startup Phantom Auto made its name developing software that makes it possible to operate forklifts, warehouse yard trucks and delivery robots remotely from almost anywhere on Earth. Its system works extremely well, but the fast-growing company announced Tuesday, it acquired Swedish software company Voysys AB to further improve performance.

Phantom Auto co-founder and chief business officer Elliot Katz explained to Forbes.com Voysys is a leader in what’s called ultra-low latency technology. In simple terms, it means higher performance even when connectivity is weak or unreliable.

“With the two company’s technologies now combined, the resulting product has increased functionality in the most extreme and volatile network conditions,” said Katz. “This will prove helpful as the technology scales to more warehouses and distribution centers, which sometimes have sub-optimal connectivity.”

That’s critical as strong and reliable connectivity are the lifelines for Phantom’s remote operation system. Its software is hardware and network “agnostic,” Katz explained, and aggregates all available networks from every available carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and others.

To demonstrate what Voysys brings to the table, Katz points to this video showing remote operation of a race car running at a speed of up to 120 miles per hour without running off the road or crashing.

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In a statement, Magnus Persson, Voysys Co-founder and CEO said joining Phantom Auto made sense based on its growth and market leadership and what his company brings to the relationship.

“We have developed software for the video streaming pipeline which has proven to be best-in-class when it comes to streaming latency,” said Persson. “Combining our world class technologies will unlock immense value for logistics operators around the world.”

While bolstering overall technical performance, Phantom Auto’s Katz is passionate about how successful remote operation of industrial vehicles has opened up employment opportunities for those who may be disabled or are otherwise not normally candidates to physically drive such equipment, or those who do not live near a warehouse facility and prefer not to, or are unable to, relocate.

Indeed, said Katz, Phantom’s acquisition of Voysys further enhances his company’s goal of helping to solve the broader labor shortage issue.

“The labor shortage is horrible for businesses and consumers alike because the increased cost of finding and retaining labor is passed along to consumers in the form of higher priced goods,” said Katz. “By creating a virtually unlimited pool of talent our remote operation technology can help reverse that trend. We really believe we have a game-changing technology and adding Voysys enhances that technology.”

Phantom’s acquisition of Voysys is indicative of the trend towards consolidation in various technology segments including those related to autonomous and electric vehicles. Why his company is an eater and not among the eaten, Katz says, is directly related to how Phantom’s remote technology is helping to alleviate the labor shortage, saying, “what have been headwinds for many are tailwinds for Phantom, as we’ve experienced material growth in the last couple years.”

Indeed over the last two years Phantom landed major deals including those with Tennessee-based third party logistics firm Kenco to provide remotely-operated forklifts to its customers, delivery service Serve Robotics, freight and logistics giant ArcBest, NFI, one of the largest third-party logistics providers in North America and French logistics leader Geodis.

As for its latest tieup Katz says his company “admired Voysys for a long time” with that admiration confirmed after testing revealed if its technology was added to Phantom’s software stack performance improve. In these days of consolidation and heated competition that’s good enough to spark a business marriage proposal.

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