Port automation giant Kalmar believes artificial intelligence (AI) will be the future of container terminals.
Jari Hämäläinen, Director of Terminal Automation with Kalmar, wrote: “Despite the rapid onset of terminal automation, automated container terminals still account for only a small percentage of the 1,400 container terminals around the world.
“Meanwhile, the automotive industry is forging ahead at full speed with the development of autonomous cars, which will open up significant possibilities also for our industry .
“Simultaneously AI has become the number one focus area for the world's ICT giants, so we are definitely at the start of a very interesting journey
“To illustrate the [Kalmar] concept of ‘robotAIsation’ - my new term for the combination of robotics and AI.
“Current work in artificial intelligence is increasingly moving in a direction in which the developer is not responsible for the smartness of the AI, but for enabling self-learning in the system.
“In the (actually-not-so-distant) future, software robots and AI will identify and fix occurring problems in real time, in addition to handling exceptions or helping humans solve the most challenging situations.
“Productivity at container terminals will reach a new level, as bottlenecks and problems along with their solutions can be rapidly and automatically fed back into the software development process.
“Exception handling is currently one of the most significant limitations – and hence development areas – in automation.
“Even in a fully automated terminal, there are still numerous situations in which human operators in the control room need to step in and intervene.
“The key thing to realise is that AI can be built to learn from these situations so in the future they can either be handled automatically or with AI assistance.”
Read more: Are You an Automation Leader?