Skip to main content
blog | What is what in the driverless world? |
2 minute read

Rapid development in the industry makes this a hard question to answer. Join us for a ride in a world full of acronyms and expressions.

New vehicles, new names

The acronym AGV, short for automated guided vehicles, has been used for decades. However, in the last fifteen years, there has been an explosion of new types of driverless vehicles for the industrial and logistics sectors. You still find many AGVs out there, but also carts, mobile robots and automated lift trucks.

Having said that, the similarities are greater than the differences. No driver, central control and the ability to send and receive information are still characteristic features of automated guided vehicles.

Examples of definitions

Let’s take a look at some of the most common acronyms and expressions in the world of automated guided vehicles.


What is what in the driverless worldAGV – Automated (or Automatic) Guided Vehicle. A driverless vehicle for predictable travel routes and efficient movements of items in manufacturing and logistics. Based on a customized or standardized (e.g., lift truck) vehicle platform.

AGVS – Automated Guided Vehicle System. A system with a number of AGVs.

AGC – Automated Guided Cart or just Cart. A vehicle with basic functionality (carry or draw loads) and simple navigation (magnetic tape).

LGV – Laser Guided Vehicle. AGV guided by laser technology. Kollmorgen (NDC) was the inventor of laser-guided vehicles in the early 1990s.

AMR – Autonomous Mobile Robot. Driverless vehicle equipped with autonomous controller allowing the vehicle to take any travel route. The vehicles are easy to install and suitable where service is more important than productivity.


Automated lift truck. An automated guided vehicle based on a standardized lift truck.

Driverless vehicle/Self-driving vehicle. All vehicles that can be run without workforce in industries and warehouses. The automotive industry uses the same expression for cars that can drive themselves.

Mobile robots. Think about your robot vacuum cleaner in your home, and you have the idea for a mobile robot. A vehicle with no need for a fixed navigation system.


There are many ways to describe automated guided vehicles, but the fundamental principle remains the same: Efficient and safe movements of materials and goods from A to B.

Consult an Expert

Engineer the Exceptional

Learn how to engineer exceptional machines, robots and vehicles with the highest-performing, most reliable motors, drives, automation solutions and more.

Learn More

Related Resources

Accelerate Your AGV Expertise with Kollmorgen's Comprehensive Training Program

Accelerate Your AGV Expertise with Kollmorgen's Comprehensive Training Program >

In today's rapidly evolving world of automated guided vehicle (AGV) systems, staying ahead of the competition requires continuous learning and skill development.
ChatGPT, Google Bard or Microsoft CoPilot and AGVs: Balancing the Benefits and Challenges

ChatGPT, Google Bard or Microsoft CoPilot and AGVs: Balancing the Benefits and Challenges >

Could prompt AI such as ChatGPT, Google Bard or Microsoft CoPilot revolutionize the AGV arena? Sebastian Witkarsson, Information Security Officer at Kollmorgen, examines the possibilities – and sounds a note of caution.
Unlock fast-track AGV commissioning with Cirrus

Unlock fast-track AGV commissioning with Cirrus – the latest innovation from Kollmorgen >

Cirrus, the latest commissioning innovation from Kollmorgen, is a cloud-based solution that speeds up and streamlines AGV installations. With its smart features and easy-to-use interface, Cirrus can help accelerate your business by enabling efficient…
Kollmorgen Innovation Day, Realizing Ideas at the Cutting Edge of Tech

Realizing Ideas at the Cutting Edge of Tech >

Kollmorgen is all about innovation, constantly investing in collaborations and research projects to exchange knowledge and expertise with partners and universities across the world. Learn more about how Kollmorgen works to enable innovative thinking…
Kollmorgen Innovation Day

All Together For Innovation: More perspectives mean better ideas and better products >

At Kollmorgen, there are more and more female employees every year, which really helps to broaden overall perspectives. Everyone agrees that diversity drives innovation and these values apply to the group at every level.

Interoperability: What it is, and why it matters in the age of automation >

We are now living in a digital world. E-commerce consumers expect goods to be delivered faster and more flexibly than was the case just a couple of years ago. Organizations, retailers, and their warehouse service providers therefore need to find new…
Automation in a Single Day with Game-Changing DIY Platform

Automation in a Single Day with Game-Changing DIY Platform >

Accessible and affordable automation for all has made a giant leap forward with the release of an AMR platform that enables users to install out-of-the box automation technology in less than a day.

The One Big Thing: Innovating Together for a Sustainable Future >

We are no longer settling for unsustainable. More than ever before, we are painfully aware that our ability – or inability - to act over the next few years will directly shape the lives of all future generations. And our best bet to step up to the…
AGV performance: a deep-dive into neural networks

AGV performance: a deep-dive into neural networks >

Machine Learning, Neural Networks – big terms in modern logistics, but what do they actually mean? What we need is an expert to tell us. Paul Hamblin, editor of Logistics Business magazine, meets one.