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A report published by a company called SITA has shown how artificial intelligence could improve baggage tracking in air transport.


In June 2018, IATA resolution 753 on baggage tracking will come into force, requiring airlines to track travellers' luggage for the entirety of the journey. And according to SITA, this represents a new source of data that can be used to improve the traveller experience. The company has just published a report entitled "Smart Tracking: a baggage management revolution", which explains how AI could be used to optimise baggage tracking.


Considerable reduction in the margins of error


The report presents a system of smart and interconnected media and applications which exchange information linked to the movement of baggage in complete autonomy. This automated functioning considerably reduces the margins of error. SITA’s aim is to improve current processes by leveraging the potential of artificial intelligence, Tom Travel explains.

Over the past 10 years, new technologies have enabled the air transport industry to slash costs linked to incorrect baggage handling by 50% from 4.2 to 2.1 million US dollars. IATA resolution 753 is designed to reduce them even further.


Smart video surveillance supporting an RFID system


Most airports and airlines use RFID tags to optimise baggage tracking. This technology is nimble and easy to implement, and to date is the best way of attributing a unique identifier to each piece of luggage. The system was implemented for the first time in 2008 by Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), who were also the first to develop and integrate RFID scanners to their baggage management infrastructure.

"Nowadays our RFID tags record a scanning rate of close to 99%, compared with 80% for the traditional bar codes that were used previously," said HKIA General Manager Chris Au Young in the SITA report, explaining how IA is such an advantage. "It optimises the traveller experience and increases the confidence they have in HKIA." Travellers in transit also receive notifications on their mobiles informing them of the progress of their luggage, which means that they can better organise their time.

HKIA has also developed a smart luggage trolley system based on machine learning and image processing software integrated into video surveillance cameras. The system, which is currently in the test phase, has apparently achieved an accuracy rate of 92% and in the long term could mean that manual controlling of the trolleys is no longer required.


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