Smart Ports: Computer Vision Insights
Computer vision helps smart ports mitigate inefficiencies, enhance security and safety, and assist with maritime side operations by facilitating applications for container identification, automatic object recognition, collision prevention, container placement/loading, and port security/surveillance. A deep dive into these findings has been provided below.
Computer Vision Application for Container Identification
- Serial numbers serve to provide basic information about shipping containers arriving at ports, which is then used to help manage terminals, yards, and customs. Computer vision can be used to automatically identify these numbers.
- By collecting this information via computer vision, logistics can be automated in real-time.
- The computer vision technology can analyze things such as container numbers, the integrity of the container's seal, the state of the container and door lock, as well as the packing position of the container so that it can be placed on truck beds automatically while still maintaining the correct orientation of the container's door.
- This application "can facilitate automated management, reduce manpower, and improve the container operation efficiency." It relies on the use of a camera and laser sensor.
Computer Vision for Automatic Image/Object Recognition at Ports
- Images captured by cameras can be analyzed using computer vision in order to identify objects.
- This computer vision application can be used in shipping ports to increase the number of inspections and optimize maintenance, especially preventative maintenance.
- It can also be used to analyze the number and types of vehicles coming and going from the port and monitor the flow of traffic.
Computer Vision for Ship Collision Prevention
- Computer vision technologies can be used to help improve the anti-collision capabilities of ships.
- This technology uses data to reconstruct a visual image of the ship's environment and can asses the likelihood of a collision.
- It can determine where other ships are and what types of ships they are, as well as assess bridge clearance and the amount of water between the ship and the shore.
Computer Vision for Container Placement on Ships
- Computer vision can work virtual markers and unique container IDs to help "detect the position of a particular container on the ship" which is beneficial in a number of cases, including emergency situations.
- This technology works using connected systems that communicate and share data with each other every time a container is loaded onto a ship.
- The system can also work alongside machine learning algorithms to help determine the order in which containers should be loaded based on the destination of the shipment as well as the container's contents, and can also keep track of how much weight allowance is left on ship and how much available space there is (information that can then be sent to the crane master to help inform decisions).
Port Security and Surveillance
- Computer vision technologies can work alongside GPU technology to turn basic security camera systems into intelligence surveillance systems for shipping ports.
- Shipping ports are commonly at risk for asset destruction and reputational risks that can be hindered by security threats such as theft, smuggling, data breaches, and terrorist attacks. These threats can lead to disruptions in the flow of trade, large economical losses and even casualties and environmental damage.
- Computer vision technologies can serve as surveillance systems which can help identify security issues in real-time while facilitating rapid intervention. These systems are more advanced than traditional video surveillance cameras (which usually only serve to secure against basic intrusions) and instead are able to count, track, detect anomalies, and even analyze behaviors.