We’ve all been there. We rush to make a flight, only to find that the plane has been delayed, which sometimes means that plans go out the window.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made it worse, with worldwide disruptions causing flights to be canceled or delayed and triggering a global crisis in freight and transportation by land, sea and air.
IntellAct offers a glimmer of hope to help the hard-pressed transportation industry cut costs as it grapple with financial challenges. Improved efficiency at major logistics hubs could save billions of dollars each year and offer a lifeline to operators facing the worst financial crisis in a generation.
Using artificial intelligence to analyze the millions of CCTV cameras monitoring airports, sea ports and logistics hubs, IntellAct identifies operational bottlenecks and hazards, increasing efficiency and improving safety, says CEO Udi Segall.
“In order to prepare an arrival flight for the next flight there are 360 discrete events that need to take place,” Segall says. “We use artificial intelligence to monitor all of these events and see if there are any delays and how to fix them.”
For example, when a flight lands the jet bridge has to be attached, the passengers need to deplane, the luggage taken off, the plane cleaned, the catering restocked, the plane refueled and checked for safety – and much more. Most of these processes are checked by a ramp manager with a clipboard, a method Segall says is outdated and inefficient.
$20 billion each year
Delays cost the airline industry $20 billion every year. IntellAct says it can cut the delays by at least 15 percent, saving the airlines about $3 billion annually.
“Even before Covid, airlines were struggling and the profit margin was very thin,” Segall says. “That, along with the spike in oil prices, put a lot of airlines in the red.”
IntellAct uses existing cameras that airport operators and airlines have in place to monitor the processes and make them more efficient. Most airline hubs have large command and control centers staffed with turnaround coordinators who are responsible for the processes. At one major US airport hub hosting large US airlines, the airline’s coordinators monitor live CCTV streams from more than a hundred gates, but the analysis is not done in real time, and so does little to get the planes off the ground faster.
IntellAct’s technology applies artificial intelligence to analyze the video from the existing camera feeds in real time, aiming to make the complex process more efficient by analyzing and improving the turnaround procedure at hundreds of gates simultaneously.
Oz Eliav, the general manager of Cockpit Innovations, El Al’s venture arm, says that El Al has invested in IntellAct, demonstrating its belief in the company and the effectiveness of its software.
“IntellAct technology uses image recognition which can identify the processes just by watching the video,” Eliav says. “It is machine learning with no human intervention. The computer learns how each player looks and can identify it.”
Eliav says that the software is cloud-based so there is no need to install any additional hardware. By comparing what actually happened at each stage of the turnaround process with what should happen, it is easy to find out what, if anything, went wrong.
A pilot project with El Al at Ben-Gurion Airport in Israel is currently underway and the early results are promising.
“We already finished the proof of concept and we are now refining the IntellAct solution for El Al’s needs,” Eliav says. “There were specific goals that we asked IntellAct to provide for El Al and they actually went above and beyond those goals.”
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