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Revolutionizing Ports with Computer Vision Technology

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

In today’s world, the smuggling of contraband items and substances, drugs are very common. While other means of transport have some safeguards and measures against this, such as airports having strict cavity searches and detection systems, some traditional ways are still exploited to smuggle such goods into other countries. One such mode is overseas. Ports have a slower, and not completely thorough scanning system for containers, which can lead to contraband objects managing to sneak by security checks and scans.

Computer Vision and Ports

One such instance was the seizing of nearly 25kg of heroin hidden in oil cans inside a container at Nhava Sheva Port in Navi Mumbai in a raid by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence’s(DRI) Mumbai zonal unit. The container had been imported from kandahar, and arrived via chabahar port in Iran.

Upon normal scanning the ,Goods had been declared in the customs documents to be merely sesame seed oil and mustard oil. However, officials decided to do a longer, thorough scan manually, upon which they discovered off-white material concealed at the bottom of the cans.

Upon testing with an NDPS field kit the material was confirmed to be heroin. A total of 24.45 Kilograms of heroin was seized that day.

This Incident went to further prove the point that the port system can have such glaring weaknesses in its scanning of shipped containers. The drug substance was not picked up during the normal scan and would have most likely been smuggled through without being detected by the authorities. It was only after thorough scanning that the illegal substance was detected, and the contraband item seized. This calls for a more advanced and faster, thorough system of scanning that will replace the current, obsolete method of scanning.

Prisma AI, with the help of its unique Computer Vision Platform Gryphos, will revolutionize and greatly enhance the scanning and detection system at ports, with advanced cognitive, visual-based AI Solutions that serve to make the port system modernized and easier to manage. The objective is to help make ports more up-to-date with modern times and increase their efficiency while ensuring thorough scanning of multiple containers at one time.

Detection of smuggled goods

Detection of contraband objects

Smugglers and dealers utilize overseas shipment for transporting contraband objects and more. These slip by the traditional container scanning system, and can only be detected through scanning which is generally time-consuming. Additionally, these items are hidden very discreetly, in secret compartments or such. The new AI-based drive-through scanner can scan a large number of containers at a time, and additionally can detect any hidden contraband or illegal objects as well while scanning containers.

Prisma AI’s Artificial Intelligence-based Computer Vision solution ensures accuracy and efficiency in threat-detection at security check-points. With fast algorithms at its core, Prisma AI detects prohibited items in real-time from X-ray Scanners and by measuring the density of any substances in containers with accurate, reliable and high-speed detection. This in turn would reduce the time taken to scan each container, instead allowing multiple containers to be scanned in the same amount of time, thereby greatly boosting the Import-Export process. This will also reduce human intervention required, allowing manpower to be allocated elsewhere. The High Accuracy and speed scanning system will also increase container shuffling speed, allowing an increase in stack heights, thereby leading to improved utilization of equipment and more yard space.

This system uses Optical character recognition (O.C.R) based scanning of containers, which scans them based on factors such as container number, ISO number, seals, density of substances etc. The location of shipments overseas can be tracked easily as well, while offering inputs on faster routes for delivery. Smart AI-based Surveillance systems will monitor various portions of the port, ensuring unethical activities are not taking place. Object recognition systems will discern the nature of packages and baggage, ensuring they are of a noble nature.

A smart analytics system will help keep track of baggage and shipment counts at entry and exit points, especially after scanning takes place, keeping any contraband items/smuggled goods smartly segregated and maintaining a count. two and four wheelers and trucks, count of goods arriving, count of people based on age and gender, and count of staff entering and exiting the premises.

Prisma AI will change the face of Ports today, with it’s advanced and easy to use solutions, fixing the errors and faults of the traditional system and ensuring the incidents such as the one at Nhava Sheva Port are not repeated again.

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