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Outlook for the Future

Conclusion and Outlook

We at DHL recognize that computer vision has reached a level of maturity that now ensures exponential growth in implementation and use cases. Recent advances in computer vision technology – particularly depth perception, 3D reconstruction, and interpretation of dark and blurred images – are broadening the field of applications for computer vision in logistics operations along the supply chain.  

In the immediate future, we anticipate increased investment in artificial intelligence (AI), not least because of society’s growing interest in generative and interactive AI such as ChatGPT and Alexa. Boosted investment will be essential to further advancement of computer vision solutions, as AI underpins image recognition. 

Within the logistics industry today, computer vision has proved and established its value in certain areas such as dimensioning solutions as well as in many health and safety applications as outlined in this report. There remain large numbers of tasks in warehouses, distribution centers, hubs, and the supply chain that can and should be gradually delegated to or supported by computer vision-enabled AI systems. And ultimately these solutions will scale to deliver maximum benefit to logistics organizations. 

Computer vision technology is here to stay, and it is fascinating to track the increasing commercial deployment of these AI-powered solutions not only within the logistics industry but also across various other industries.

Several key challenges remain. One is technology acceptance – employees may be suspicious of and resistant to computer vision solutions, believing they are being constantly watched and their personal data is at risk. Compliance with GDPR and other data privacy and protection laws must be ensured, and these regulations may limit the scaling of computer vision solutions across some regions. Cybersecurity must be strengthened to reduce the risk of hacking and malicious manipulation of data which can skew analyses and alter AI performance. Significant improvements in security as well as data privacy are vital to ensuring the trustworthiness of AI. 

In terms of the solutions themselves, many are hardware agnostic, but it is often necessary to upgrade older camera technology and there is still a need for more cameras, especially in outdoor operations and for high-definition applications. It is essential to enable effective communication between cameras, sensors, and other elements of the AI-power computer vision system, achieving a seamless view in multi-target, multi-camera object detection and tracking. 

Further development is also required in the visual identification of materials such as frosted glass and objects with reflective surfaces. Better cameras will deliver higher quality output resulting in more proficient machine learning, allowing the system that once struggled to recognize a surface to subsequently identify it without any difficulty. 

Computer vision represents an intrinsic part of the overall automation and digitalization of logistics, reshaping the future of an industry that unites us all. Its solutions will underpin and drive future logistics to achieve more efficient processes as well as safer and truly sustainable operations.

Today at DHL, we are closely monitoring the maturation and further development of computer vision. By collaborating with our partners and customers, we intend to drive technological advances that will enable implementation in all logistics operations and across the entire supply chain. 

Further Information


DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation

Represented by Dr. Klaus Dohrmann, Vice President, Head of Innovation & Trend Research DHL


Emily Pitcher