Technology has transformed how we communicate and interact with each other in every aspect of our lives. Changes and advances in technology, both big and small, have impacted how we communicate, how we live, how we travel, and how we work.
With specific regard to artificial intelligence (AI), this ever-evolving technology is no longer only used in high-tech specialised fields, but also in mainstream businesses and industries. In the ports sector, we are seeing the development of smart terminals, that utilise digitalisation and automation, such as 5G communications, blockchain, big data, automated vehicles, remote control equipment and highly sophisticated terminal operating systems.
Hutchison Ports has always been leading the way towards the next generation of terminal operations with its Smart Port Strategy, pushing forward with a global roll-out of the many automated solutions. One of the recent highlights is Hutchison Ports’ AI autonomous truck application, it showcases the group’s ‘drive’ towards increased automation and the resulting benefits of increased terminal operations.
It has always been Hutchison Port’s goal to focus on improved safety and terminal efficiency, while lowering costs and delivering greener solutions across the group’s global network of ports.
Taking advantage of the latest technological tools available in recent years, Hutchison Ports is the first port operator to achieve ‘true’ mixed traffic mode terminal operations implementing AI autonomous truck technology into daily operations.
Hutchison Ports autonomous truck development team found the solution enabling the autonomous and conventional trucks to operate together without isolation and interacts with each other. Both manned and unmanned trucks follow the same traffic rules to create a dynamic operating environment to achieve maximum efficiency and flexibility. The new terminal operating ecosystem will lead to an optimised workflow and result in a higher level of efficiency to shipping lines and port users.
The development team unleashed the potential of autonomous truck technology with a unique re-designed operation workflow and traffic policies, leading to a more reliable and smarter terminal operations.
Today, a fleet of six autonomous trucks at Hutchison Ports Thailand Laem Chabang Terminal D are performing daily yard marshalling and regular vessel operation tasks. These autonomous trucks have already contributed over 20,000 production moves in the span of nine months, since September 2020.
The success of this innovative project has been made possible through the collaboration of Hutchison Ports’ autonomous truck development team and the developers at Westwell, who specialise in developing a range of artificial intelligence applications across many industries.
In this special edition of OPPORTUNITY, we will take a look at the development of autonomous truck technology at Terminal D and explore how it will benefit the group’s network of ports around the world and future plans.