The fast-paced technology integration into our lives is moving to industries, and slow adoption businesses must step up or risk being left behind. Ports and harbors are one of the many industries requiring quick digital adoption. The global smart ports market revenue accounted for $1.67 Billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $12.08 Billion by 2026. To leave this market untapped could mean suicide.
Ports are responsible via maritime routes for over 90% of traded goods, and optimizing workflows is a competitive advantage. Smart port technology is the answer to capturing the benefits and setting your port to acquire a part of the market cap. If you are starting or settled in digital transformation, the following text will help you understand the technologies, opportunities, and challenges smart ports must face today and tomorrow.
Various technological breakthroughs are being implemented into the ports’ value chain to create an intelligent workflow led by automation and interconnectivity. Among these tech innovations, we can find:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a mathematical optimization that provides autonomously, through experiences, a fast path to solving a wide range of problems. Within AI, we find Smart Systems and Neural Networks, more commonly known as machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL). AI, ML, and DL use cases are robotics, image processing, and natural language processing, in practical terms, self-driving cars, and search engines.
The Internet of Things is a network of physical "things" (objects) like, sensors and devices which connect and share data autonomously amongst themselves and other systems via an internet protocol. These devices are implemented throughout, from household goods (thermostats) to industry (supply chains). The number of IoT devices is expected to reach 20 billion by 2024.
In simple terms, blockchain technology works by introducing any type of asset in blocks into an immutable and tamper-secured distributed network. In this decentralized system, all data is shared equally throughout the whole system. It can be described as digital ledger technology (DLT), and there are different types of blockchain: Public blockchain network, Private blockchain network, Permissioned blockchain network, and Consortium blockchain network.
The description of a digital twin, given by the Department of Defense (DoD), is an integrated multiphysics, multiscale, probabilistic simulation of an as-built system. Enabled by a Digital thread that uses the best available models, sensor information, and input data to mirror and predict activities/performance over the life of its corresponding physical twin. Today the use of this groundbreaking technology is being applied to healthcare, smart cities, automotive, manufacturing, and retail to name a few.
Big data results from the increasing connectivity that produces immense amounts of data sets. It encompasses the volume of information, the velocity or speed at which it is created and collected, and the variety or scope of the data points being covered (known as the "three v's" of big data).
An embedded system, in technological terms, is a microprocessor or microcontroller that sits inside a device and can intake and store data through the sensors in the hardware. The data collected is used to execute specific functions coded in its software, achieving this by sending particular and timely signals.
Now let's go deeper into the technological breakthroughs and how these can be applied to smart ports and harbors to achieve autonomous processes. Combining AI and embedded systems creates opportunities to automate workflows and provide safer working environments and cost-effective results.
In today's data-driven world, harnessing the power of data analytics is a game changer. AI's capacity to analyze big data sets is astonishing, and adding it to embedded tech provides real-time data-to-information refinement. Acquiring this technology for ports and harbors means automation is possible. Considering that over 90% of trade goods worldwide go through ports gaining autonomous processing is paramount.
The potential Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) to optimize cranage and cargo loading/unloading/ transportation systems gives better:
For AGV automation to perform, real-time data assurance is necessary, and embedded AI in sensors, lasers, and encoders provides these requirements. Other automation processes in workflows where embedded AI enhances smart ports and is a perfect fit are:
These are some examples of how embedded AI enhances smart ports, resulting in procedures that strive to reach, for example, the UN's SDGs. The Port of Valencia reduced its power consumption overheads by an incredible 80% by implementing a motion-based illumination system application.
Looking at other smart port approaches like the one implemented by the Port of Valencia, there's a tendency to target the UN's SDGs and autonomous processes. Some of the initiatives include:
Technological innovations are increasingly adopted by top ports worldwide, and embedded AI is crucial for the success of these strategies. But all new approaches come with challenges.
The current digital transformation approach is based on centralized data management systems presenting various risks and vulnerabilities. These are, ensuring real-time data, cybersecurity, and cost-effective data storage, analysis, processing, and delivery. This situation arises because centralization works via server centers located at far distances creating latency and bandwidth bottlenecks. In addition, successful cyberattacks take down whole networks through one single point of attack.
Other challenges hindering the wide adoption of technology innovations into smart ports and harbors include:
There are technological breakthroughs based on decentralized network infrastructures working on-premises helping to solve the mentioned problems. Internet of Everything Corporation (IoE Corp) is a deep-tech startup providing this solution.
Internet of Everything Corporation's approach to solving the growing concerns of decision-makers within the ports and harbors industry to adopt tech into workflows; is the Eden system. Eden is a solution that uses on-premises hardware computing power to store, analyze, process, and deliver data-to-information refinement. In this sense, centralized solutions are reduced, mitigating latency and bandwidth bottlenecks and ensuring real-time data 24/7.
In addition, as embedded AI works at the source of data generation, unforeseen costs from server centers' raw AI analysis are removed. Eden incorporates embedded AI analysis through event-based information refinement; therefore, AI analytics kicks in when there is a change in the network. Data security and privacy are managed through blockchain technology, keeping transparency and data tracking trust throughout the value chain. Eden's decentralized foundations also actuate on single points of attack, which means cybercriminals won't take control of the whole system.
Single points of attack, are mitigated because infected nodes deviate from their assigned tasks, and this is alerted to the rest of the network. The network continues working as all devices access the service information, and another node performs the tasks. Embedded AI implemented with IoE Corp's Eden provides smart port technology adoption and a seamless roadmap strategy to stay ahead of the curve to become Industry 4.0 market leaders.
For more detailed information about how the Eden system is implemented into your smart port plan, access the Planet Partner Program. By onboarding this tech partnership, you'll be welcomed into a select group setting the path to pioneer digital transformation. A paradigm shift moving away from centralization and entering a decentralized blockchain-secured data-driven fourth industrial revolution.
Are you ready to step into Industry 4.0 ahead of the curve and achieve the promise of technology to provide better living standards for societies and reach the UN's SDGs? Embedded AI is vital for this to happen, and we know how to help. Apply to the Planet Partner Program here.