China’s Zhuhai Port has deployed a driverless container truck developed by Westwell.
Using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) applications, the driverless truck is expected to help port terminals and logistics companies to improve efficiency and save labour cost by more than 50%.
Compared to the traditional self-driving vehicles, the Westwell vehicle can quickly adapt to the port environment, make decisions and alternate controls.
Westwell said in a statement: “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.”
The company further noted that the busy and complex operations of horizontal transportation of containers in ports result in more transitions of route plans for self-driving vehicles.
The operations also get disturbed by the presence of lots of metal equipment that disrupt GPS signals.
The Westwell driverless trucks’ AI applications are capable of carrying out multiple tasks in this kind of environment such as navigating, avoiding obstacles and planning the optimal route for the transportation of containers.
In November, Westwell partnered with global engineering company Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries (ZPMC) to develop AI straddle carriers.
According to ZPMC, the AI straddle carrier can automatically avoid obstacles, slow down, brake and make other smart decisions while tackling emergency situations.
Since 2015, Westwell has also been providing the plans for container number recognition system, WellOcean, to port terminals situated across China.
The company aims to develop a holistic AI solution for unmanned operation in terminals around the globe.