DHL’s Trend Report outlines the potential of Next-Gen Wireless in Logistics

June 2020.- The evolution of wireless networks and the Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized the world, and its emergence in the logistics industry has brought about a paradigm shift.

Wireless communication technology was making headlines way before the current COVID-19 crisis. Much of the recent interest has focused on 5G mobile data networks that are being rolled out in many countries. 5G promises a host of benefits for end users, businesses, and telecommunications systems operators alike, including higher speeds, greater capacity, and tailored services for a new generation of smart connected devices. Beyond 5G, progress across a wide range of different wireless communication technologies is now creating new opportunities for logistics to improve visibility, enhance operational efficiency, and accelerate automation. Well-known technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth and lesser-known technologies like Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellites have been enhanced for industrial use. These next-generation wireless technologies will enable the next step in the communication revolution, moving towards a new world in which everyone and everything can be connected everywhere. In a future where everyone and everything is online everywhere, three key things will become possible for the logistics industry:

  1. Total Visibility: Every shipment, logistics asset, infrastructure, and facility will be connected thanks to widely available networks and inexpensive high-performance sensors. This will enable highly efficient automation, process improvement, swifter and more transparent incident resolution, and – ultimately – the best service quality for both B2B and B2C customers.
  2. Wide-Scale Autonomy: All autonomous vehicles, whether indoor robots or logistics vehicles on public roads, rely on ultra-fast, reliable wireless communication to navigate and traverse their worlds effectively. While these solutions are on the rise today, next-generation wireless will be one key enabler driving their widespread use and moving the world to autonomous supply chains.
  3. Perfecting Prediction: With so many things online, the volume, velocity, and variety of data that we collect will triple the big data already being generated today. The continued progress of machine learning systems and artificial intelligence paired with the ultra-low latency of next generation-wireless means that data-driven prediction systems for forecasting, delivery timing and routing may no longer be constrained by latency and performance of wireless networks.

Source: Logistic Insider

BMW now working with NVIDIA to advance AI in logistics

May 2020.- BMW is prioritising intelligent logistics robots in its stated objective of using higher performance computer technology across vehicle making operations. Building on the advances it has made over the last four years with digital technology in logistics, the German company is now working with US software company NVIDIA.

Last week the two companies announced a pilot project in which BMW has equipped smart transport robots (STRs) with artificial intelligence (AI), developed on NVIDIA’s Isaac robotics software platform, which optimises material flow and planning processes.

According to BMW the robots can now identify obstacles such as forklift trucks, tugger trains and people more quickly and select alternative roots. They can also learn from the environment and apply different responses to people and objects.

The STRs are one of five AI-enabled robot solutions the carmaker is developing with NVIDIA using the Issac software platform to improve logistics processes. These include both navigation robots to transport material autonomously and robots used to select and organise parts. As first outlined in 2018, the other four are handling robots: SplitBot, PlaceBot, PickBot and SortBot (see box).

Source: Automotive Logistics