Augmented and Virtual Reality in Transportation and Logistics

New Breakthroughs in Training and Hands-Free Operation

There is a new approach to digitalizing and automating processes in transports and logistics. Using augmented reality in transportation, businesses can train machine operators and truck drivers, provide on-road assistance, and manage warehouses. Here are different ways AR/VR is improving accuracy and safety along the supply chain.

Virtual Reality in Transportation: Training Operators and Drivers

Digital realities can be used to simulate the operation of heavy machinery and vehicles. Using virtual reality to mimic real-world conditions, companies train drivers and ship captains to operate different long-haul trucks or freight ships on various road and sea conditions. 

Another use of virtual reality in transportation is for machinery training. Trainers use digital twins of real-world equipment so that first-time users won’t damage specialized equipment. Furthermore, VR can simulate customer situations for new operators to handle. In these ways, virtual reality improves efficiency and speed of delivery in transportation, while decreasing the likelihood of accidents.

Augmented Reality for Logistics: Displaying Operational Data in a Single Pane of View

AR offers different use cases than VR. The full immersion of virtual reality would be inappropriate to use while driving or operating machinery such as forklifts. Digital elements must not obstruct a worker’s view. Using augmented reality in transportation and logistics is thus more suitable than VR once operations begin. For a driver, AR can enhance what is visible to the naked eye by providing additional information like maps, checklists, destination markers, and more. These pieces of information go beyond what is typically displayed on a dashboard or control board.

When it comes to machinery, AR glasses show performance data to operators within their field of vision. This eliminates the need for operators to hold additional equipment or look down at dashboards. And inside warehouses, augmented reality enables for object recognition to identify packages for delivery. DHL saw a 25% increase in productivity when workers wore smart glasses.

Now back to the case of augmented reality in transportation. Head-up displays (HUD) lessen the need for drivers to look down. Head-up displays are so called because they display information on the windshield of vehicles (usually through lasers), so that drivers can keep their “heads up.” HUDs currently provide data points like outside temperature, the speed and direction of the vehicle, and even the current song that is playing. With AR, cars have the potential to show drivers dynamic external information, such as live traffic conditions, so that drivers can pick the least congested routes. Imagine having the same information from smartphone apps overlayed onto the real world through a windshield. This is the promise of AR with connected vehicles.

AR/VR Require New Computing Paradigms

VR training, smart glasses, and AR-modified UHD have high computing demands. AR/VR can’t exist without high connectivity and availability, so processing their data in data centers isn’t the best option. Cloud computing limits the power of AR/VR because of data transfer delays.

To address the shortcomings of cloud computing comes edge computing. Edge computing (also known as decentralized or distributed computing) uses smaller-scale private infrastructure that is located near connected devices. Edge computing enables lower network bandwidth use, improved flexibility, and better data security. With the edge, the transportation and logistics industry can keep up its need for speed.

Augmented and Virtual Reality In Transportation and Logistics: an Ormuco Use Case

Ormuco is an industry leader in the global edge computing market. Suppliers and transporters use Ormuco’s infrastructure service to provision virtual and software-defined IT resources. With Ormuco, the same company can use less processing to stream a VR training and more for an AR-backed supply chain management solution, all without having to buy physical hardware.

Finally, the Ormuco platform uses 5G technology with speeds up to 20Gbps and latency reduced down to 4 milliseconds. Ormuco assigns resources from edge nodes with the lowest detected latency to your AR/VR application.