Summer holiday plans have been thrown into doubt as the travel industry struggles to cope with the growing passenger demand post-pandemic and industrial action. Staff shortages have resulted in long queues, delays and cancelled flights with many warning the chaos could continue over the coming months. But it’s not all doom and gloom. An array of Israeli technology is emerging to ease some of the current pain points of travel.
Israeli technology is being embraced by airlines, industry professionals who see major cost savings to help them return to profit after more than 18 months of grounded flights and empty planes. Investors are also welcoming the innovation, which presents some exciting opportunities.
High-profile Israeli entrepreneur and investor Jon Medved, the CEO of OurCrowd, an online venture investing platform that enables institutions and individual accredited investors to invest in start-ups, says: “As the world comes out of the pandemic, the need for innovation is painfully obvious. We need solutions to turn around planes quicker so we don’t have 7000 cancellations in a day, and software that will speed up security lines, and even marketplaces for the overburdened air freight sector. These are just some of the issues that are crying for technology to come to the rescue.”
Cue IntellAct, CorrActions and SeeTrue – three companies within OurCrowd’s portfolio of some 350 companies. How can technology transform the travel industry and what’s it importance within travel as we move to a post-covid era?
Founded by Udi Segall in 2018, IntellAct enables airlines, airports, and ground handling teams to address turnaround services performance bottlenecks, minimise delays and transforms precious ground time to air time. It does this by taking advantage of investments already made by airports in video surveillance that are already position in key areas of interest to the performance of the turnaround service, namely the gate and ramp areas.
Using Artificial intelligence, IntellAct automatically monitors the turnaround service in real-time, alerting relevant stakeholders when actual performance is slower than expected, or when safety violation is detected, and an airline’s service level agreement is at risk of being violated. It also ensures that ground handling team personnel and service equipment is allocated at the right time, to avoid overcrowding and idle time.
Udi Segall, CEO at IntellAct says: “Airport punctuality is measured by the On Time Performance of departing flights. Today, 70% of all delays can be attributed to turnaround (the time it takes to prepare an aircraft to push back from the gate, otherwise known as Target Off Block Time) issues. Airlines for America estimates that just one minute of delay costs the US airline industry $74.24 and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that by 2030, turnaround related departure delays will cost $20.1billion annually if there is no technological advancement. The good news is that every airport already has the foundation of a technology-led turnaround solution.”
Segall says: “Anyone who recently travelled via an ever-congested airport would not describe the experience as stress-free, productive, or eco-friendly. A significant element of the stress that we, as passengers, experience at airports stems from the frequent, last-minute changes in departure times, gate changes.
“Airports are large and complex organisations with many moving parts that includes aircraft crews, ground handling teams, airport operation teams, passengers, luggage, cargo and more. To ensure that passengers, their luggage, and cargo arrive safely at their destination and on time requires all of these stakeholders to operate in concert. The problem is whilst many other aspects of the aviation industry have undergone digital transformation, turnaround management has been overlooked airports are still relying heavily on verbal communication and manual reporting. The good news is that this is changing. Through the combination of surveillance camera systems already in-situ and the application of artificial intelligence it is now possible to pinpoint what is causing process bottlenecks, safety hazards, and in turn minimize departure delays, optimize airport and airline efficiency, significantly reduce costs and improve the passenger experience. Far too many aircraft have already spent far too long on the ground, now is the time to get them back in the skies as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible.”
Founded byy Zvi Ginosar and Eldad Hochman in 2019, CorrActions’ neuroscience-based platform identifies if a person is fit to operate. The company’s technology rapidly detects and quantifies human cognitive and physical states such as intoxication, drowsiness, exhaustion, motion sickness, stress, cognitive decline, and more.
CorrActions’ solution can be used in any human-machine interface to understand the human’s cognitive state and adapt the machine’s operation accordingly, as well as to predict human errors before these affect the machine. This will be key in any human-machine interaction including healthcare, gaming, industrial and mobility.
In mobility, CorrActions enables the vehicle to understand the driver’s cognitive state, so the vehicle can use this data to take action, for example – limit the speed, and increase breaking distance. Cars already measure body motion, through the steering wheel for example. CorrActions AI-based software uses this data to extract and report the driver’s cognitive state. The technology has been proven with leading car manufacturers and moving to joint implementation projects.
Ilan Reingold, CEO CorrActions, says: “Among the many technologies that would transform the travel industry post pandemic is Virtual and Augmented Reality, enabling tourist destinations such as museums to create online exhibits and experiences. As these experiences are best seen with a VR headset, CorrActions’ technology can analyse the headset motion to understand the traveler’s cognitive state and advise the visited online site to adapt its user experience accordingly. CorrActions’ capability will be key in any human-machine interaction including healthcare, gaming, industrial and mobility.
Founded by Assaf Frenkel in 2018, SeeTrue provides an AI-based automatic threat detection software solution on top of X-ray and CT systems at airports, seaports, urban security checkpoints, customs and shipment, making the security process and traveling as fast and secure as possible along with improving operational efficiency.
SeeTrue was created to revolutionise the current security screening process, addressing the challenges of passenger throughputs, experience, security, and cost with a new Artificial Intelligence approach.
Assaf Frenkel, CEO & Co-Founder SeeTrue, says: “Covid has had a devastating impact on the aviation industry. Since the outbreak, passenger volumes have declined by half. Nowadays, while steady recovery in air traffic is being observed, alongside peak demands. These recent peaks in passenger demand proved to be very challenging in security checkpoints in many airports, and resulted in passengers waiting in very long lines, sometimes outside the airport. It is not only a result of the growth in demand for flights, but also a staff shortage, after the pandemic related reductions in force. Many airports only have half of their security checkpoints operating every day, which create a painful bottleneck for airports and passengers. It is time for digital transformation of the security screening, AI is the only answer to reassure fast, secure and healthy passenger’s journey through the airport. Airports that use SeeTrue in their operations already enjoy streamlined passenger journeys and improved operational efficiency, making travel fast and secure.”
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