Finding the Perfect Forklift Safety Solution: Camera-Based vs. UWB Systems

Finding the Perfect Forklift Safety Solution: Camera-Based vs. UWB Systems

In the bustling environment of warehouses and industrial settings, ensuring forklift and pedestrian safety has never been more crucial. With numerous tools and technologies to choose from, the debate often boils down to camera-based vs. ultra-wideband (UWB) detection systems. But which is the right fit for your operations? Let's dive in.

1. Understanding Camera-Based Systems

Camera-based forklift safety devices are the most commonly found technological solutions that aim to enhance forklift and pedestrian safety. Utilizing visual cameras that continuously scan the forklift's surroundings, these systems offer many advantages and some challenges.

Visual Insights

These systems leverage cameras to provide real-time visual footage from various angles, helping the operator to comprehend the environment around the forklift. In large warehouses with multiple activities occurring simultaneously, a camera-based system can act as an additional set of eyes for the operator, capturing the surroundings from different viewpoints.

Object Recognition

Some modern camera-based systems incorporate sophisticated algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) that can differentiate between stationary objects, pedestrians, and even other moving vehicles. In a complex manufacturing facility with various machines and workers, some AI object recognition technology may only alert the operator to moving hazards like other personnel, ignoring stationary machines or parked vehicles.

Integration with Forklift Warning Systems

Camera-based systems can seamlessly integrate with existing forklift warning systems, triggering visual or audible alerts. When navigating a tight space filled with shelves, the system can detect an object in the forklift's path and immediately trigger a visual warning on the operator's screen and an audible alert, providing a double layer of protection.


  • Real-time Visual Insights: Enhancing situational awareness for operators, especially in complex or crowded environments.
  • Potentially Lower Upfront Cost: Depending on the camera technology, it can be an attractive option for businesses looking to enhance safety without a significant initial investment. However, AI-based systems can be significantly more expensive.


  • Can Struggle in Low-Light Conditions: Dimly lit areas can impair the camera's ability to provide clear visuals.
  • Potentially Obstructed Views or Blind Spots: Even with multiple cameras, certain areas may remain hidden from view.
  • Reliability Compromised by Lens Dirt or Damage: This requires regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance.

2. Understanding Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Systems

UWB forklift safety systems are a cutting-edge technology designed to enhance forklift and pedestrian safety by using UWB radio waves to gauge the distance between the forklift and surrounding obstacles. These systems offer unique attributes that set them apart in the arena of pedestrian alert systems for forklifts.

Accurate Proximity Detection

UWB systems offer a precise detection mechanism that can penetrate obstacles without false alarms and manage multiple pedestrian detections simultaneously. In a warehouse filled with shelves, machinery, and workers, UWB systems can detect pedestrians and other material handling equipment even if they are behind obstacles.

Customizable Safety Zones

With warning and protection zones that can be tailored to specific needs, UWB systems provide adaptable safety measures. A forklift operating near a pedestrian walkway can have customized safety zones. The warning zone may be set wider to alert the driver when pedestrians are approaching, while the protection zone may automatically reduce the forklift's speed when a pedestrian comes too close.

Integration with Various Vehicles

Some UWB solutions, like ELOshield's OEM-independent design, make it an ideal solution for mixed fleets, accommodating everything from AGVs to forklifts. In a complex logistics hub where various vehicles operate, including robots, AGVs, and traditional forklifts, ELOshield can be integrated across all these platforms, creating a cohesive safety system.

Audible, Visual, and Vibration Alerts

These comprehensive alert systems are designed to warn drivers and pedestrians, significantly enhancing pedestrian safety around forklifts. If a pedestrian unknowingly enters a forklift's path, the system can trigger an audible alarm for the driver, a visual signal at a nearby alert point, and even send a vibration alert to a wearable device on the pedestrian.


  • Precise Detection in Challenging Environments: Offers reliable performance in conditions like smoke, dust, and low-light where cameras might struggle.
  • Seamless Integration with Various Vehicles and Equipment: A unifying solution for mixed fleets.
  • Adaptable Warning and Protection Zones: Tailored to suit specific operational requirements.


  • Potentially Higher Upfront Investment: The advanced technology and adaptability may require a higher initial costs than camera systems. Considering the long-term savings in accident prevention and increased efficiency can often justify this outlay.

3. Embrace the Future of Forklift Pedestrian Safety with ELOshield

Choosing between camera-based and UWB forklift proximity detection systems is more than a simple choice of technology; it's a strategic investment in the safety and efficiency of your operations. Both systems present their unique merits and challenges. Camera-based systems provide visual insights but may struggle in adverse conditions. UWB systems, on the other hand, demonstrate unparalleled precision and adaptability, offering a forward-looking solution that embraces the future of industrial safety.

As the pace of industry continues to accelerate, and the complexity of the environment expands, investing in a system like ELOKON’s ELOshield becomes more than an option; it becomes an imperative. With tailored safety zones, precise detection in challenging environments, and seamless integration across a diverse fleet, the potential for innovation and excellence in safety is real. Click here to schedule a call and discover firsthand how ELOshield's UWB system can be your strategic ally in not just meeting but exceeding your safety goals.

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