Not everyone is aware of how often we already use AI in our everyday lives. We use it, for example, when we surf the internet or when we shop online and are presented with personalised buying suggestions based on our previous purchases. AI is also often behind the navigation systems and virtual assistants that direct us to the right contact person when we call a company or a public authority.
“AI guides and helps us with a variety of options that shape our future,” explained Inis Ehrlich, project coordinator responsible for managing the Transfer Centre for Artificial Intelligence Bremen/Bremerhaven – on behalf of Bremen’s Senator for Economic Affairs, Labour and Europe, Kristina Vogt. Here, the possible areas of application for AI range from search engines and recommendation services, to chatbots and voice control, to robotics and cyber security. “However, the areas we deal with most intensively in logistics and the maritime industry are route planning and transport optimisation, storage and inventory management, as well as predictive maintenance,” Ehrlich elaborated. Moreover, in logistics, exoskeletons – robotic frames that employees can wear on their bodies to help them lift heavy loads, among other things – are today’s hot topic.
However, at “Future Day” on 7 July 2022, the Transfer Centre’s kick-off event, the focus was on completely different forms of AI. Robots, autonomous vehicles on a large and small scale and intelligent augmented reality and virtual reality (AR and VR) glasses appealed most to the public and increased their enthusiasm for AI. “The launch event was a great success,” said Ehrlich. “For many of the more than 300 visitors, including companies, numerous schoolchildren and university students, the event was their first real contact with AI. We hope to have piqued their interest further in how AI overlaps with daily life.”
Isabella, KITE, K4R and more
Interest in AI in the maritime industry and in logistics has been high for a long time, and it is constantly growing. Accordingly, this makes reporting on successful AI projects in this market segment from Bremen and Bremerhaven, “Isabella” and “Isabella 2.0”, for example, quite easy. These projects focused on the development of an intelligent planning and control system for logistics processing and the movement of automobiles between ship, train and HGV – a prototype was tested at the BLG AutoTerminal Bremerhaven. Those involved were BIBA – Bremen Institute for Production and Logistics at the University of Bremen, BLG LOGISTICS and the Bremen software specialist 28Apps Software. “KITE” was also developed with the participation of BLG. This is an AI-based process for HGV route planning that has enabled the companies involved so far to reduce their empty journeys by up to 15 per cent, thus contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in transport. “KITE” has received funding of around one million euros from the Federal Ministry for the Environment and Digital Infrastructure.