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How transportation companies can leverage AI to automate inspection and tracking tasks

Cogniac’s enterprise-class computer vision platform streamlines freight and logistics asset management

Cogniac utilizes its computer vision artificial intelligence (CV-AI) solutions to optimize supply chain processes that have long been manual and tedious. And in today’s world, the use of automation is becoming vital to smooth out kinks in the supply chain.

Automation’s benefits in the freight and logistics industries include a reduced margin of error , an improved customer experience, and an increase in operational efficiency across diverse business processes. Impressive technology also can help attract top talent in times of widespread labor shortages.

“I think the supply chain and logistics transportation world has come together in the face of a lot of friction. To alleviate that friction, automation is really key and that’s what we are allowing to happen without anything more than a subject matter expert’s involvement and a minimal amount at that,” said Ashley Applegarth, director of North American sales at Cogniac.

Cogniac’s solutions increase efficiency and productivity by eliminating the subjectivity and errors that come with strictly manual visual observation. With an easy setup process and only subject matter expertise necessary for operation, this technology is deployed for asset inspections, and defect detection in rail, trucking, warehousing and logistics business operations.

“A lot of the people who are doing these manual inspections today would be the ones interacting with this tool, because they are the subject matter experts, and need little to no extra training, nor do they need to be data scientists or software engineers — or even developers,” said Dan Dobransky, director of solutions engineering at Cogniac. “Our no-code platform makes it intuitive and easy to automate any visual task.”

Cogniac’s platform is camera agnostic as livestream video or still images can come from security, drone and even cellphone cameras using visible light, infrared or X-ray. Existing or specifically added cameras installed in freight and logistics environments provide the sensory front end to collect visual data then passed on to the Cogniac platform for analysis. The platform’s output — specific, actionable information — is then passed on directly to an operator, to control devices, or to any third-party software for further analysis and sharing. This interoperability allows for easy integration into any infrastructure, thus providing a complete end-to-end solution.

This empowers companies to let their employees focus on what they do best, including prioritizing higher-level tasks that are less repetitive, more interesting and of higher value to the organization.

This mature technology also has the capability to solve and address many common problems and tasks while offering the flexibility to be tailored to the customer’s specific application.

“Founded in 2015, we spent the first two years just building out a robust solution that could work anywhere — a platform approach. After that, we released our platform to the market and have successfully deployed across a number of large enterprise tier-one customers globally,” said Applegarth.

AI’s ability to learn is key to the platform’s capabilities, another attribute that caters specifically to the customer’s needs. “With just a few images of what you are looking for, we can get it into production,” said Applegarth. “All it takes are, say, a few examples of a license plate or DOT hazmat placards. From there, the AI is capable of self-learning.”

Trimac, one of Cogniac’s customers, is a bulk transportation provider. While hauling loads, truck drivers collect a multitude of paper forms and receipts. These documents are mostly filled in by hand and have a high degree of variability. Once uploaded to the cloud, Cogniac automatically classifies these documents by type.

For companies like Trimac, Cogniac’s platform can sort documents and automatically extract actionable information of interest from them, thus implementing a complete automated document management solution. This information is used in a myriad of ways to optimize freight operations.

Another customer in the trucking industry deployed Cogniac’s platform and saw the accuracy of its visual process increase from 50% using its old solution to 97%.

For freight rail companies, Cogniac systems are deployed on board moving trains and in wayside inspection setups throughout the entire network, providing mission-critical automated inspection solutions. The system visually inspects tracks, wheels and other assets in real time as the trains go by at track speeds, allowing it to flag company technicians where maintenance is needed and even to stop trains when the system detects an emergency situation.

“One large rail customer of ours currently analyzes approximately a million high-resolution images of wheels captured by wayside cameras per day,” Dobransky said.

As the freight and logistics industries continue to evolve, more and more organizations are adopting automation in order to streamline and optimize a variety of processes. Cogniac’s computer vision-AI solutions increase efficiency while reducing costs. Incorporating computer vision-AI to automate virtually any visual inspection or tracking task can be easy, with a fast return on investment realized. Get more information or schedule a demo today.

Britni Chisenall

Britni Chisenall is a sponsored content writer for FreightWaves. She lives in Ooltewah, TN with her husband, Garrett and her cat, Lily. Britni is a graduate of Dalton State College.