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The Cure for Your Holiday Travel Blues

Jonathan Martin

December 09, 2019

Hands up if air travel delays have ever impacted your holiday plans? Last month, the industry trade organization Airlines for America predicted that a record 31.6 million passengers would travel in the 12 days around Thanksgiving. In the end, numbers like this combined with severe weather-conditions proved to be too much, causing in cancelled flights from Boston to San Francisco.

But there is good news. The era of data-driven airports is here and now. Hitachi Vantara has developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) solution for airports and airlines. The solution delivers a first-class customer experience and gets travelers where they need to go, safely and on time, even on THE busiest travel days of the year. You can check out the release here.

Here’s how it works–Lumada Video Insights gathers data through our own smart cameras, third-party cameras and 3D lidar (Light Detection And Ranging) sensors and edge gateways. Privacy is essential, so the solution was purposefully built to not capture any personally identifiable information (PII). With the stored information, it then transforms this data into actionable intelligence using video analytics (computer vision and machine learning), data visualization and blending with other business data.

Here are some examples of this solution in action using 3D lidar. If you’re not familiar with lidar, it’s similar to sonar but instead of using sound to visualize the world, it utilizes lasers to create a three-dimensional view in real time, which when analyzed by artificial intelligence, delivers new insights and intelligence into areas that video cannot.

Smart Gate

We’ve all been on planes when passengers are squeezing up the aisle desperately looking for a place to store their bag. At the same time, their fellow travelers are either moving downstream to reach their seats or getting bumped in the head by passing luggage. This is gridlock at its finest and it doesn’t have to be.

Lumada Video Insights uses video from the gate area to count the number of people in the board queue, the number bags as well as the size, shape and weight of each. With these details it determines, based on the configuration of the plane, when the storage space will be full. With this knowledge, they can then proactively manage the capacity of the overhead bin in real time and direct the remaining bags to the storage bays below the wing. And it does all this before people board, helping ease the process, expedite turnaround time and ensure timely departures.

Streamlined Check-In and Security Lines

This same solution can also be deployed at the main check-in counter or security check area where it will gauge the size of the queue. With this insight, the solution will issue “long line” alerts, letting travelers know about the current wait times as they are en route to the airport. This insight better prepares them for what to expect upon their arrival. These same alerts also are shared with employees who can proactively adjust the number of agents needed to keep lines moving and get travelers to their planes as fast as possible.

Smart Retail

Once travelers are through security, their next stop is often at one of the retail locations near the gate. Knowing that many travelers are running short on time, retailers can use these capabilities to better understand customer behavior, people flow and product interaction within each store location. They can then use these insights to maximize limited shelf space by placing the most popular products in high-traffic areas. The solution can also create automated alerts that let teams know when additional assistants are needed on the floor to ensure fast checkout.

These are just a few examples of the impact that Lumada Video Insights can have in airports. Just check out the infographic included with the blog. There you can see the other ways this solution can be used at airports to maintain high levels of customer service and security so you can focus on holiday cheers rather than holiday travel gridlock.