Port of Houston adds optical character recognition tech

The Port of Houston Authority will deploy optical character recognition technology to speed up truck processing and cut down on emissions.

Vehicles moving in and out of the Port of Houston will soon be processed by computers instead of humans.

The Port Authority will soon deploy optical character recognition, or OCR, technology to automate equipment identification, traffic processing and damage inspection at its newly-constructed entry gate complex of the Bayport container terminal.

The OCR tech comes from San Diego, Calif.-based APS Technology and will automatically identify containers, chassis, and license plates associated with the equipment.

The authority implemented the technology for the terminal's six existing lanes in 2010; it plans to add six additional lanes to process entering trucks. It says the automation tech has allowed for a "free-flowing" gate that can process the same amount of traffic in half the time, slashing truck idling (and thus carbon emissions) in half.

That's a big deal for the Port of Houston, one of the world's largest. (It handles 69.6 percent of the U.S. Gulf containerized cargo market and 95.5 percent of the containers moved through Texas seaports.)

Part of the deal involves APS deploying 2D optical tags for trailers in the terminal, many of which are not marked with ISO standard stencils. The switch should help speed up identification.

Photo: Roy Luck/Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com