Delta Air Lines bets on AI to help its operations run smoothly in bad weather

In its first-ever keynote at CES, Delta announced a new AI-driven system that will help it make smarter decisions when the weather turns tough and its finely tuned operations get out of whack. In a first for the passenger airline industry, the company built a full-scale digital simulation of its operations that its new system can then use to suggest the best way to handle a given situation with the fewest possible disruptions for passengers.

It’s no secret that the logistics of running an airline are incredibly complex, even on the best of days. On days with bad weather, that means airline staff must figure out how to swap airplanes between routes to keep schedules on track, ensure that flight crews are available and within their FAA duty time regulations and that passengers can make their connections.

“Our customers expect us to get them to their destinations safely and on time, in good weather and bad,” said Erik Snell, Delta’s senior vice president of its Operations & Customer Center. “That’s why we’re adding a machine learning platform to our array of behind-the-scenes tools so that the more than 80,000 people of Delta can even more quickly and effectively solve problems, even in the most challenging situations.”

The new platform will go online in the spring of this year, the company says, and, like most of today’s AI systems, will get smarter over time as it is fed more real-world data. Thanks to the included simulation of Delta’s operations, it’ll also include a post-mortem tool to help staff look at which decisions could have resulted in better outcomes.

Source: TechCrunch

Why It’s Hot

Delivering on best in class CX in the airline industry is a beast, and Delta has consistently tried to win here (as previous covered by Forrester CX index and the like). Why lacking in the super-cool-tech factor, widespread use of AI In the airline industry makes a ton of sense.

T-Mobile #DataStash Campaign

January marked the launch of T-Mobile’s #DataStash campaign, which they kicked off at CES with the #DataStash Dash Contest scavenger hunt. They held another #DataStash Dash Scavenger Hunt this week in Seattle (T-Mobile’s hometown) with a grand prize package to the Super Bowl.

The biggest buzz worthy moment happened this week when Kim Kardashian teased her T-Mobile Super Bowl commercial that supports the campaign, which of course leaked online. You can watch Kim being Kim below. #KimsDataStash

Why It’s Hot:
This demonstrates a well-orchestrated integrated campaign that consistently introduces new elements to keep it interesting and keep the buzz alive.

A Car That Can Drive Itself During Traffic Jams

Bosch just announced a new automated system that allows a car to drive itself during traffic jams. The company is adding the system to Jeep Cherokee models at the 2015 International CES to show how manufacturers can help drivers navigate through traffic jams. The company said the system will be made available later this year in a series of European cars, but the specifics about which manufacturers are on board have yet to be announced.

The concept is simple: When a driver manually turns on the system, it will know to follow the car in front and continue along with caution. Bosch said the technology is far safer than relying on the human brain to make quick judgement calls during jams.

The system uses predictive emergency braking, sensors, radar technology and cameras to serve as the eyes and ears of a car. It reacts faster than a human and adjusts accordingly if, for example, the car in front slams on its brakes.


Why It’s Hot

According to Bosch, 90% of traffic fatalities are due to human error and 72% of rear-end collisions that result in casualties could be avoided with a predictive braking system. While fully automated self-driving cars are still being tested, this is technology that can start making cars safer in the next few months.


Chocolate 3D Printer – YUM

The tastiest new technology at CES 2015 award most likely goes to CocoJet,  Hershey’s chocolate 3-D printing machine.

CocoJet, prints rows of chocolate that add up to a yummy medley of interlocking geometric puzzle shapes. You can also invent your own shapes using the accompanying software and voila, your customized chocolate will be ready in about 15 minutes. The machine that is intended for bakers and chocolatiers is available in smooth dark, milk or white chocolate. designed for bakers and chocolatiers.

3D Systems and Hershey’s have not announced what the price of the printer will be or when it will go on sale.

Why It’s Hot

It is hot because it is sweet and it is chocolate. Additionally, 3-D printing is expanding to tasty treats and appealing more the average consumer. Lastly, the new technology focuses on personalization, an undeniable trend in the consumer world.

Read more here.