The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has joined forces with Huawei and other global firms to establish the "Global Alliance on Artificial Intelligence for Industry and Manufacturing."
The alliance was announced during the Intelligent Rail & Logistics Forum 2023, held in Fényeslitke, Hungary, at the site of the newly launched East-West Gate (EWG) intermodal terminal.
With a private investment of approximately USD $1.17 billion, the terminal is the largest inland facility of its kind in Europe and the first container railway port in Europe to use 5G technology. 5G technology provides remote control and fine operation functions for fully automatic cranes in the hub, improving production efficiency.
The East-West Gate (EWG) is located at the junction of the standard and wide gauge railway tracks and can handle up to one million twenty-foot containers (TEUs) annually.
The alliance will be committed to building a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing to promote the innovation and application of AI technologies in industry and manufacturing and boost the digital economy.
In his speech, Mr Ciyong Zou, Deputy to the Director General and Managing Director at UNIDO, stated: "We are witnessing how mobile connectivity and industrial innovation come together."
"5G combined with AI and cloud computing bring many benefits to transport and logistics sectors."
"The efficiency and quality of jobs have been upgraded greatly. The safety of the site has improved. Participation of women in a previously male-dominated working environment has increased."
"The objective of the Alliance is to serve as a platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and showcase best practices," said Mr Ciyong Zou.
János Tálosi, CEO of East-West Intermodal Logistics Plc, explained: "The East-West Gate (EWG) intermodal terminal began operations in October 2022."
"At the terminal, 1 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) can be quickly loaded and unloaded between wide–gauge and standard-gauge railways each year, meaning high requirements for both efficiency and safety."
"As 5G enables the interconnection of all internal communications and technical equipment, the terminal's highly automated cranes can be controlled remotely and are capable of subtle movements."
"This greatly improves productivity while providing a more comfortable working environment for operators."
"The project marks a key milestone in the development of 5G technologies in Hungary and the digitalization of railfreight. It enables EWG to become an intermodal railway logistics hub in the digital era," said Tálosi.
Radoslaw Kedzia, Vice President of Huawei's CEE&Nordic Region, added: "East-West Gate Intermodal Terminal is a story of creating social value with excellent collaboration of different partners and dedicated investors."
"The facility's digitalized, high-tech solutions attracts many young locals to stay in the area. The average age of the employees are 23-25 years."
"There is high safety, there is healthy and clean environment for workers, no harsh conditions anymore."
"The solution proves that 5G has been truly applied in Europe's smart railway sector using next-generation digital technologies, and they solve common problems, promote digital transformation," said Kedzia.