Graphics card giant NVIDIA enters supply chain market with ReOpt AI software
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Graphics card giant NVIDIA has announced the launch of its ReOpt AI software, which is said to deliver “new tools for dynamic logistics and supply chain management to a wide range of industries, including transportation, warehousing, manufacturing, retail and quick-service restaurants."
NVIDIA describes ReOpt as “an accelerated solver for big data that optimizes vehicle route planning and logistics in real time.” The company adds that the software can help with numerous tasks including vehicle routing for last-mile delivery to the efficient picking and packing of warehoused goods bound for homes and offices.
Other features of the software, as described by NVIDIA, are as follows:
- Route optimization. Dynamic route optimization uses advanced algorithms that provide dispatchers and drivers with routing that can dramatically reduce miles, fuel cost, CO2 emissions and idle time. Companies gain real-time feedback on road conditions, traffic data and route suggestions to create more accurate arrival windows.
- Advanced constraints. Modeling movements of vehicles that have finite capacities and different costs. That includes factoring in such items as fresh produce that must be carried by refrigerated trucks, or that customers are only available during specific windows in time.
- Warehouse picking. Companies can create better human-machine interaction for automated storage and retrieval in picking and packing that dynamically routes and re-routes robots for efficient truck loading as new orders arrive.
- Fleet mix optimization. Tracks routing across the supply chain with locations and fleet statistics for airplanes, trains, trucking and container fleets. The software can take into account the number of available pilots, drivers or ships to operate these vehicles on a given day and factor in maintenance costs.
One of the companies using the software has been US fast-food pizza giant Domino’s. Andrew Birch, vice president of data science at Domino’s, is quoted as saying that the results achieved working with NVIDIA “showed great promise in delivering real-time and actionable insights that help us better serve our customers each day.”
NVIDIA is of course best known for its highly powerful graphics cards that power PC Gaming rigs, games consoles as well as cryptocurrency mining farms. As the company explains, the power of its graphics cards is also being used to the benefit of its ReOpt software:
“GPUs offer the computational power needed to fuel the most ambitious heuristics while supporting the most challenging constraints. ReOpt takes advantage of NVIDIA’s massively parallel architecture to generate thousands of solution candidates and refine them to select only the best one at the end. As a result, ReOpt can scale to the largest problems in seconds with world-class accuracy. The software showed a 2.96 percent accuracy average gap, compared to the world’s best known solution for the number of vehicles, in early tests on the Gehring & Homberger benchmark.”