The rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence and the improvements in self-driving technology is set to revolutionize the transportation and logistics industries, according to Business Insider.
Technical advancement in logistics and shipping has lagged behind other industries for many years. Datamation says a major reason for this lag is the sheer number of people and companies that even a single supply chain serves. Giant retailers, like Walmart or Amazon, could impose technical requirements on some of their partners, but not all. At many stages in the supply chain, enabling technology did not exist. That said, the trend is beginning to change as artificial intelligence-driven logistics are driving a transformation in the global movement of goods.
A report from DHL found the three major trends predicted to drive logistics innovation are autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things and logistics driven by AI and machine learning.
Autonomous logistics is the science behind self-driving vehicles on the roads and unmanned aerial vehicles in the sky, according to Datamation. Self-driving cars and drones are some of the most talked about topics in technology today, and are expected to fundamentally change the way businesses operate. For example, in the retail industry, free and fast shipping are the two most important features that drive U.S. consumers to shop online. That means suppliers in manufacturing, agriculture and other industries are all under pressure to get their goods to market faster, according to Business Insider.
Simply put, logistics and shipping companies that can provide this quicker and cheaper transportation are in a better position to win more business.
Analysts forecast over 50 billion objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Datamation says the Internet of Things (IoT) can help connect transport vehicles (trucks, trains, boats and planes), shippers and consumers with data-driven logistics information. This may be a fertile area for further integrating artificial intelligence into the operations of the transportation and logistics moving forward.
Business are benefiting from collaborating the use of artificial intelligence and logistics. Robotics and automation are a primary sector for AI and logistics. While the interest in robotics is long standing among manufacturers, today the costs are lowering and robots are easier to program, which is making the decision to use robotics more cost-effective.