Westwell recently developed a driverless container truck, introduced in China's Zhuhai Port, in January. Adopting the latest artificial intelligence applications, it is a self-driving vehicle in a port environment.
Artificial intelligence is changing the world of container shipping. It is estimated that there are over a thousand overseas container terminals and that many of these call for cutting-edge technology, such as driverless vehicles, more than automation.
Westwell's driverless container trucks can help logistics companies and terminals improve work efficiency and save labor cost by more than 50%, according to industry watchers.
Compared to regular self-driving vehicles, the Westwell driverless container trucks are quicker to adapt to the port environment, make decisions and alternate controls.
The horizontal transportation of containers in ports is busy and complex, which will result in more transitions of route plans for self-driving vehicles. At the same time, there is a lot of metal equipment disturbing GPS signals. All of this amounts to difficulties for other driverless container trucks in such an environment.
The AI elements of Westwell's driverless trucks give them the ability to perform multiple tasks in this type of environment, such as navigating, avoiding obstacles and planning the optimal route for transportation of containers.
Besides the driverless container truck, Westwell also collaborated with a multinational engineering giant, ZPMC, in developing AI straddle carriers in November 2017. ZPMC reported that the AI straddle carrier can automatically avoid obstacles, slow down, brake and make other smart decisions in case of emergency situations.
Westwell has been exploring the combination of AI and port technology. Since 2015, they have provided the plans for container number recognition system, WellOcean, in terminals all over China. The team is committed to making a holistic AI solution for unmanned operation in terminals around the world.