Hong Kong researchers develop system to enhance airport baggage trolley allocation

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-11 20:52:50|Editor: An
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HONG KONG, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese University of Hong Kong announced on Monday that its researchers have developed a system that can increase the effectiveness in trolley management at Hong Kong International Airport.

Hong Kong International Airport serves over 70.5 million travelers in 2016, and currently handles over 1,100 flights each day while it offers around 13,000 baggage trolleys throughout the airport. In view of the enormous demand for trolley, the airport studies how to maintain steady supply and standard in a wide-open space of the airport.

Led by Cheng Chun-hung, a professor from the universitys Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, the research team collaborated with the airport in estimating the baggage trolley availability at various trolley racks or pack up points through machine learning techniques, image-based technologies and existing surveillance CCTV cameras since 2014.

The system, namely Video Analytics Aids, which can connect to a mobile app, enables frontline service providers and management to monitor real-time trolley usage at all pickup points and manage timely replenishment to individual pickup points. Immediate alert notifications will be given in yellow when the trolley quantities drop to 50, and in red in case of empty rack.

With this system, the airport management can flexibly strengthen passenger services as on-the-spot workforce allocations are based on the real-time trolley usage and demand level.

Cheng said that by using machine learning techniques such as support vector machines and neural networks, researchers are able to build the visual system that identifies four different styles of trolley and conducts the smart counting. And the trolley detection rate is 92 percent.

Chris AuYoung, General Manager of Smart Airport of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said that since trolley management is a common challenge for most of the airports in the world, there would be a good opportunity to export such solution and Hong Kong International Airport would be a good showcase to illustrate the business benefits.

A total of 18 video cameras have been placed in Baggage Reclaim Hall currently for monitoring the trolley availability. All the other objects and views would be blurred for protecting passenger privacy. This system can also be applied to warehouses, car parks, and logistic centers.