Safety First: How Samsung’s Inertia Mobile Solution Reduces Distracted Driving on Forklifts

Taylor Mallory Holland

As warehouses increasingly equip forklifts and other industrial vehicles with mounted rugged tablets, they’re experiencing a wide range of benefits—from streamlined paperless workflows to wayfinding to real-time inventory. But distracted driving can be just as dangerous on a warehouse floor as it is on the road.

There are currently about 855,900 forklifts in operation in the U.S. Roughly 11 percent of them are involved in an accident each year—resulting in 34,900 serious injuries and 85 fatalities. If forklift drivers are suddenly distracted by tablet screens, those numbers could start to rise.

That’s why Samsung SDS developed Inertia, a new mobile solution that helps industrial truck operators use tablets to work more efficiently and effectively, without dangerous distractions.

Why Tablets Are Trending in Manufacturing
Over the last couple years, businesses have struggled to meet demand amid significant talent shortages and supply chain disruptions. Forward-thinking manufacturers have continued to modernize warehouses and factory floors—including their forklifts, tuggers, stackers, hi-los, and other vehicles.

Mounting tablets on forklifts helps drivers move seamlessly from one task to another. With the right software integrations, drivers can view tasks, find the most efficient route to wherever they need to go and scan pallets—without getting off the forklift. Rather than leafing through printed order lists (which quickly become outdated) or answering frequent walkie-talkie calls with new pickup requests, drivers get all the information they need in real time and from one device. 

The Inertia solution makes sure these tablets are used safely, only when vehicles are not in motion.

How Inertia Works
Inertia is a simple and highly impactful solution designed for mounted Samsung devices in manufacturing environments. When a vehicle is in motion, the device locks down and the screen goes blank until the driver comes to a complete stop.

It features different configuration levels that can be customized for different vehicles and different types of surfaces, so sensors on the device can distinguish between vibrations and actual movement. When drivers need information, they pull over, and the tablet is immediately available to them. As soon as they start moving, the tablet goes to sleep.

3 Benefits of Inertia

1. Fewer Accidents
Inertia is a relatively new solution, but it has already been implemented by several large manufacturing facilities, including a leading global automobile manufacturer. Before deploying Inertia, this business had two or three distracted driving-related incidents per month. Now, these accidents are nonexistent.

2. Lower Costs
As of January 2022, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines businesses up to $14,502 per safety violation, and up to $145,027 for repeated violations. Industrial vehicle accidents cost even more, especially when you factor in equipment repairs and workers’ compensation. In 2020, forklifts alone caused 7,290 nonfatal injuries requiring multiple days away from work, with an average 17 missed days per person injured.

3. Easy to Deploy
Similar tools often require external cameras and additional sensors, whereas Inertia is self-contained and requires no third-party peripherals. Using it is as simple as installing software on Samsung tablets. The solution can be deployed quickly across fleets of industrial vehicles.

Deploy at Scale and Protect Your Investment

For large or multilocation manufacturers, even a simple solution can be time consuming to deploy if someone from IT has to manually install, configure, and update each device. Samsung Knox Suite lets businesses remotely manage and configure devices and software, pushing updates to individual devices, groups of devices, or entire fleets all at once.

To help manufacturers deploy safe mobile solutions quickly and at scale, Samsung offers a bundle that includes Inertia, Knox Suite, and Galaxy Tab Active3. Durable enough to meet MIL-STD-810H military standards for rugged devices, Galaxy Tab Active3 is well suited to manufacturing environments, and it can be fixed on forklift mounts. Enhanced touch capability allows the tablet to be used with gloves or in wet weather. And the S Pen—IP68 rated for dust, dirt, and water resistance—helps replace paper and clipboards.

Mobilizing industrial vehicle operations is a key step in modernizing manufacturing, but digital transformation should never come at a safety risk. Inertia is a simple, low-cost solution that manufacturers can deploy quickly to help create a safer workplace. To learn more about Samsung’s manufacturing solutions, engage Connection’s Manufacturing Practice today. 

Taylor Mallory Holland is a professional writer with more than 11 years of experience writing about business, technology, and healthcare for both media outlets and companies. Taylor is passionate about how mobile technology can reshape the healthcare industry, providing new ways for care providers to connect with patients and streamline workflows. She stays on top of emerging trends and regularly speaks with healthcare industry leaders about the challenges they face and how they innovate using mobile technology.