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Schneider Electric discusses its AI initiatives

Earlier this year, Schneider earned the 2020 CIO 100 Award for Innovation and was honored in the 2020 BIG Innovation Awards.

The use of artificial intelligence was a key part of the innovations the Wisconsin-based megafleet has been honored for.

Brian Stuelpner, Schneider vice president of strategy, planning and architecture, was asked a few questions to learn more about artificial intelligence and how the company is using it in its everyday operations.

HDT: How would you explain artificial intelligence?

Stuelpner: The way I think about artificial intelligence, it’s really a set of capabilities that allow a computer to do something that would have required human intelligence in the past or something that would have taken far too long for a human to do. But in general, I would think of it as just a grouping of capabilities that a computer today can do that traditionally has been kind of in the realm of human intelligence to handle it.

HDT: How is Schneider using artificial intelligence?

Stuelpner: We kind of pride ourselves as being at the leading edge of technology or the history of innovation, and we have several use cases that we are deploying. Most of them are directed at things like improving productivity or improving experiences. I can give you probably three, three examples that I think are relevant. An easy one for us, and one we have been doing for the past couple of years, relates to our customers and our internal associates, and its handling customer email requests. We also have deployed AI in our driver space. We have something that we call ETAI, which really focuses on using artificial intelligence in our estimated time of arrival process. A third one we have been doing for several years is with our third-party carriers. We have a relatively sizable logistics business, and we have used artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide better recommended loads to that carrier population, by understanding their behaviour and their preferences and the choices that they make.

HDT: Where do you see the use of AI in trucking in the future?

Stuelpner: It feels like we are kind of in the beginning stages of AI in trucking. I think we are going to continue to see those use cases evolve where automation of certain types of tasks will happen. Humans will take on kind of a higher-value role, which I think we are all looking forward to. The drivers are going to really get to focus on driving, not, shuffling through paperwork, not waiting for information to get phoned to them or come through their in-cab devices. We are going to be able to make better decisions at a speed that we couldn’t really comprehend in the past.

 

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