Delivering just 25 packages in a van might seem like a simple task, but as pointed out by Goldman Sachs, the number of possible routes a driver could take amounts to 15 septillion – that’s a trillion, trillion! The involvement of AΙ in Logistics is already a reality; it will be responsible for the generation of between $1.3 trillion and $2 trillion per year over the next two decades, and will be making the world of logistics faster, more efficient and cost-effective. These are a few ways in which this technology is scaling the logistics sector.
Big Data and AI in Logistics
UPS is a shining example of how data analysis can save up to 10M gallons of fuel. The company uses an AI-powered GPS called ORION (On-road Integrated Optimisation and Navigation) to find the fastest, low-cost route for each delivery. The AI algorithm adjusts the routes depending on traffic and other criteria. Doing so drivers’ accident risks and delivery delays are reduced.
Predictive analytics help companies make important changes to their business based on patterns that AI reveals. AI algorithms are already being used to predict the number of sales from particular clients or regions and to determine peak demands. Danone recently turned to AI as a way to assess their demand planning. Their discoveries enabled them to effectively handle manufacturing processes at times of peak demand, with their forecast accuracy jumping to 92% thanks to the use of AI. Customers expect to receive their shipments on time without delays. With predictive AI, supply companies minimize operational costs and produce optimal solutions on time.
AI and Road Safety
Artificial intelligence is important when it comes to offering high-tech driving assistance to boost safety and collaborative work. Recent research by the Finnish Transport Agency has shown that AI can be applied effectively to detect road traffic disturbances in real-time, allowing supply trucks to take alternative routes to ensure goods are delivered on time. Sensors can be used to detect even minor changes to the usual traffic model.
AI as a Driving Assistant
AI is also a vital component of self-driving technology since it is capable of identifying patterns, traffic lights, pedestrians, curbs, natural features, signs and other information that can be used to divert traffic during peak hours. This technology is also being used to identify problems and emergencies encountered by the driver – including medical emergencies, diverting vehicles to the side of the road in the case of a driver losing consciousness. AI is playing an important role in the development of fully autonomous trucks that cut the risk of accidents caused by driver fatigue and error.
AI for Improved Customer Support and Customer Experience
A recent study by Oracle found that almost 90% of US participants stopped dealing with a company if customer service was poor. AI can enhance customers’ experience by enabling them to track their shipments, learn or choose the expected time of arrival. Customers can make various inquiries that ‘smart’ assistants can understand and answer on the spot. Waiting time is reduced and doubts are clarified, so that customers know what to expect. AI-powered assistants can manage customer-centered business at all stages of the supply chain – including sales, customer service, receipts, and more. AI systems can additionally analyse purchasing behavior and delivery preferences, making future suggestions based on these findings easier.
The role of AI in Logistics
Technology has shaken up the logistics industry in many ways. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already being used to identify mechanical failure in vehicles, plan more efficient routes, and identify safety risks for drivers, pedestrians and other vehicles on the road. Growing at an annual rate of 17.87%, AI is set to change goals, roles and procedures in a plethora of industries – including that of vehicle and truck manufacturing. Finally, AI can be used to improve customer support and experience, through the aid of smart assistants and predictive systems that enable companies to offer personalized suggestions to clients.
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