Machine Learning: Logistics & Transportation

By Thong N.

Machine learning is a big part of how businesses today operate and function. Once the technology is created and almost perfected, these machines that people create can make a big impact on how efficient a business operates. So far with the research and development that has been done on technology and machine learning, the need for more workers in the logistics and transportation industry will be a thing of the past.

One technology that was designed, called TORU is starting to replace people in a logistics warehouse. Its technology has been created to be able to map out its location inside a warehouse and is aware of where items or products are stored and stacked. It’s capable of picking up to twenty items from a shelf or counter and bring it to its designated location. Depending on how far it must travel, it would usually take about 25-30 seconds to retrieve an item and plus the time it takes to travel to where the item is located. It works with lasers, bumpers, and an emergency stop system for safety measures to work around humans and unknown obstacles. It does not have a beacon or reflectors to tell it where it’s at, but it does operate using a map uploaded into it. With this robot, a company can replace people in doing those tasks and lower cost and raise productivity since TORU can work around the clock with no fatigue or carelessness.

The next big thing in the logistics and transportation industry, would be self-driving trucks and the platooning technology. Self-driving vehicles are something we’ve been hearing a lot about lately and I’m sure we all know that it’s going to be the future. The more research and development of this technology the closer we get to start having autonomous self-driving vehicles. Self-driving vehicles are becoming bigger and widely known. The technology that people are using for truck is what they call, “Platooning.” When two trucks traveling lock together for safety, and mainly to save fuel. Two trucks or it can be more, lock on together and stay a consistent safe distance apart and the ability to sync up all operating parts of the truck that either speeds it up, slows it down, and stops. With this technology, it would save fuel cost and be safer for truck drivers, since they’re usually unable to see over each other, this technology would help them do so.

Self-driving vehicle is something that is going to eventually take over, but at the moment most are still being tested out. It hasn’t become a technology that is in full use, due to more research needed and also the regulations that it would need to abide by to be approved.

With these technological advances within the logistics and transportation industry, it would help many businesses become more efficient and cost savings. From robots in a warehouse being able to work throughout the day and throughout the night and from drafting behind other vehicles to save gas and have better response rate behind the wheel. It’s helping this industry save cost and money.

References

Fuchs, Jochen (Feburary 29, 2016). “Hi, I’m Toru, the intelligent warehouse robot”. CeBIT. Retrieved from http://www.cebit.de/en/news/news-details_21574.xhtml
Coldewey, Kevin (September 7, 2016). Magazino’s TORU inventory-grabbing robot rolls into major German logistics center. TechCrunch. Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/07/magazinos-toru-inventory-grabbing-robot-rolls-into-major-german-logistics-center/
No Arthur (December 15, 2014). DHL Launches New Trend Report: Self-Driving Vehicles in Logistics. BusinessWire. Retrieved from http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20141215005704/en/DHL-Launches-Trend-Report-Self-Driving-Vehicles-Logistics
No Arthur (2014). SELF-DRIVING VEHICLESIN LOGISTICS. DHL. Retrieved from http://www.dhl.com/content/dam/downloads/g0/about_us/logistics_insights/dhl_self_driving_vehicles.pdf
Peterson, Ryan (April 25, 2016). The driverless truck is coming, and it’s going to automate millions of jobs. TechCrunch. Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2016/04/25/the-driverless-truck-is-coming-and-its-going-to-automate-millions-of-jobs/
Rouse, Margaret (Feburary 2016). Machine Learning. WhatItIs.com. Retrieved from http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/machine-learning

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