This news was officially released in Japan as of Nov 27, 2023.

Sony Semiconductor Solutions, Hacobu, and Restar Electronics begin offering services leveraging AITRIOS™ to improve work efficiency in logistics and warehouse loading and unloading operations

December 28th, 2023

Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation

Hacobu, Inc.

Restar Electronics Corporation

Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation (Representative Director and CEO: Terushi Shimizu, hereinafter referred to as "SSS"), Hacobu, Inc. (Representative Director and CEO: Taro Sasaki, hereinafter referred to as "Hacobu"), and Restar Electronics Corporation (President: Hideya Yamaguchi, hereinafter referred to as "Restar") have developed a service that utilizes SSS’s AITRIOS edge AI technology to improve work efficiency in loading and unloading areas (berths) of logistics warehouses.

By automating data acquisition of usage records and work time, Hacobu was able to reduce the intensiveness workload for drivers in preparation for projected industry-wide challenges in 2024. The services were launched in November 2023.
The service automates the intake of usage records and length of time required for loading and unloading delivery trucks, helping to reduce unnecessary waiting time for drivers and optimizing the work time for warehouse employees. The solution was made possible with SSS's edge AI sensing platform, AITRIOS, which enables development and operation of edge AI and vision AI solutions. This was combined with with Hacobu's truck reservation service, "MOVO Berth," as well as an application developed by Restar that performs matching and identification of truck license plate recognition to give results and information via system integration.
The three companies jointly addressed challenges proposed by MITSUI-SOKO Supply Chain Solutions Co., Ltd. (MSCS), and after conducting a verification experiment at their Chiba site, and officially introduced the service to MSCS in November 2023.

Improving productivity in the logistics industry is an urgent issue as companies prepare for labor-related reforms, policies, and laws in fiscal year 2024. In the future, the three companies plan to expand their service to other shippers, logistics, and transportation companies to support efficient and sustainable logistics operations and fair working conditions across the industry.

Key Features of this Service

By utilizing edge devices equipped with AI capabilities, the service detects and recognizes license plates of transport truck vehicles, allowing for the reception and recording of entry and exit information. The service automatically reflects the start and end time data of truck operations on the UI (User Interface) screen of MOVO Berth. In addition to acquiring data on loading and unloading times, which was previously difficult to manage, the service also prevents data omissions and errors that often occur with manual input. Further, for vehicles without reservation information available on MOVO Berth, the service will allow acquisition of operational data by logging through the application to match and determine truck information. By analyzing incoming and outgoing truck data, the service is able to reduce unnecessary waiting time and work hours for drivers.

Roles of Each Company:

Sony Semiconductor Solutions provides the intelligent vision sensor "IMX500" with AI processing capabilities. IMX500-enabled devices output only metadata related to license plate detection/recognition results, reducing the amount of transmitted data and costs for the overall system operation. SSS also provides AITRIOS platform, with a cloud environment built on Microsoft Azure, for application development, efficient edge device management, and operation. Finally, SSS provides the edge AI model "AI Service" that performs license plate detection/recognition for trucks on edge devices equipped with IMX500.

Hacobu provides the industry-leading truck reservation service "MOVO Berth.” By automatically acquiring usage records of loading and unloading areas, MOVO Berth analyzes data to help further reduce waiting times and loading/unloading operation time. This also reduces costs and increases productivity in logistics center operations.
Source: Deloitte Tohmatsu Economic Research Institute, "Current Situation and Outlook of the Smart Logistics Solution Market [2022 Edition]" *Available in Japanese Only

Restar Electronics develops the application that matches and determines the license plate detection/recognition results obtained from AITRIOS and IMX500-enabled devices, with the license plates registered in the MOVO Berth’s information and service.

Comment from Joji Haga, Senior Executive Officer at Mitsui-Soko Supply Chain Solutions Co., Ltd.:

“We are committed to providing logistics solutions that contribute to the adaptation and optimization of our customers' supply chains. To address the logistics challenges in 2024, we are taking early action by automating the understanding of waiting time and loading/unloading operation time through data integration between SSS's AITRIOS and Hacobu's MOVO Berth, which are easy to implement. We have implemented this automation at our base in Ichikawa, Chiba, covering eight berths, and through the analysis of loading/unloading time records, which leads to driver workstyle reform, we aim to reduce waiting time, optimize warehouse preparation for loading/unloading, and optimize staffing to improve the efficiency of our business processes.

Furthermore, we expect to achieve cost savings of approximately 3 million yen per year by reducing manual management efforts. MSCS will continue to provide competitive logistics solutions to shippers through logistics DX.

In addition to this service, we will contribute to the logistics DX that MSCS is pioneering by combining Hacobu's services with AITRIOS through various data integrations. Furthermore, we will work with various partners to address the diverse challenges in the logistics industry.”

* AITRIOS is a registered trademark or trademark of Sony Group or its affiliated companies.