Hamburg Port says it is the first to use the carpodX innovation for vehicle inspection.

HHLA subsidiary, Unikai, is using the system developed by the CAR Consulting Group for an automated check of new and used vehicles before they are shipped via its RoRo facility.

“After a successful test phase, we are now using the carpodX in the normal course of vehicle inspection,” said Unikai MD, Hartmut Wolberg.

“The system documents every detail of the vehicles that roll through the system during normal operation. This allows us as a port logistics company, to concentrate on handling instead of taking thousands of manual reports and painstakingly archiving them.”

At Hamburg’s O’Swaldkai terminal, a 20-foot container has been set up, which can be passed through as in a tunnel. Within three seconds, 43 cameras take more than 4,000 photos of the passing vehicles. Every area is documented, from the underbody to roof rails.

“CarpodX is a fully-automated digital condition capture system that can be integrated into any continual vehicle handling process and is much faster than the conventional visual inspection method,” added CAR Consulting Group MD, Timo Pasila.

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“The vehicle does not need to stop, the high-definition quality images are more accurate and our digital inspection container can be placed wherever it is required. This technology also facilitates a more transparent handover procedure whereby eventual damages are assigned to the correct liable party.

“We are thereby making the vehicle handover inspection and the claims process more fair. Moreover, the carpodX unit is mobile, plug and play and robust and its capacity is practically unlimited. The vehicles move through carpodX during ongoing operations so there is no reduction in productivity.”

In addition, the photos taken by carpodX are used in a second step to train artificial intelligence through deep learning. The goal is to develop AI software that automatically detects and reports damage to vehicles.

The system currently in use has to check to see which of the photos shows actual damage, with the help of terminal workers.

Through the constant comparison of image and reality, the quality of the automatic image recognition improves.