All Aboard: NVIDIA Scores 23 World Records for Route Optimization

NVIDIA cuOpt route optimization engine helps Kawasaki Heavy Industries with railway safety and SyncTwin in manufacturing optimizations.
by Moon Chung

With nearly two dozen world records to its name, NVIDIA cuOpt now holds the top spot for 100% of the largest routing benchmarks in the last three years. And this means the route optimization engine allows industries to hop on board for all kinds of cost-saving efficiencies.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries and SyncTwin are among the companies that are riding cuOpt for logistics improvements.

Today at GTC 2024, NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang announced that cuOpt is moving into general availability.

“With cuOpt, NVIDIA is reinventing logistics management and operations research. It is NVIDIA’s pre-quantum computer, driving transformational operational efficiencies for deliveries, service calls, warehouses and factories, and supply chains,” he said.

The NVIDIA cuOpt microservice, part of the NVIDIA AI Enterprise software platform, makes accelerated optimization for real-time dynamic rerouting, factory optimization and robotic simulations available to any organization.

Companies can embed cuOpt into the advanced 3D tools, applications and USD-based workflows they develop with NVIDIA Omniverse, a software platform for developing and deploying advanced 3D applications and pipelines based on OpenUSD.

Implemented together, cuOpt, Omniverse and NVIDIA Metropolis for Factories can help optimize and create safe environments in logistics-heavy facilities that rely on complex automation, precise material flow and human-robot interaction, such as automotive factories, semiconductor fabs and warehouses.

cuOpt has been continuously tested against the best-known solutions on the most studied benchmarks for route optimization, with results up to 100x faster than CPU-based implementations. With 15 records from the Gehring & Homberger vehicle routing benchmark and eight from the Li & Lim pickup and delivery benchmark, cuOpt has demonstrated the world’s best accuracy with the fastest times.

AI promises to deliver logistics efficiencies spanning from transportation networks to manufacturing and much more.

Delivering Cost-Savings for Inspections With cuOpt

Kawasaki Heavy Industries is a manufacturing company that’s been building large machinery for more than a hundred years. The Japanese company partnered with Slalom and used cuOpt to create routing efficiencies for the development of its AI-driven Kawasaki Track Maintenance Platform.

Railroad track maintenance is getting an AI makeover worldwide. Traditionally, track inspections and maintenance are time-consuming and difficult to manage to keep trains running on time. But track maintenance is critical for safety and transportation service. Railway companies are automating track inspections with AI and machine learning paired with digital cameras, lasers and gyrometric sensors.

Kawasaki is harnessing the edge computing of NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin to develop track inspections on its Track Maintenance Platform for running onboard trains. The platform enables customers to improve vision models with the data collected on tracks for advances in the inspection capability of the edge-based AI system.

The platform provides maintenance teams data on track conditions that allows them to prioritize repairs, creating increased safety and reliability of operations.

According to Kawasaki, it’s estimated that such an AI-driven system can save $218 million a year for seven companies from automating their track inspections.

Creating Manufacturing Efficiencies With cuOpt and Omniverse

A worldwide leader in automotive seating manufacturing has adopted SyncTwin’s digital twin capability, which is driven by Omniverse and cuOpt, to improve its operations with AI.

The global automotive seating manufacturer has a vast network of loading docks for the delivery of raw materials, and forklifts for unloading and transporting them to storage and handling areas to ensure a steady supply to production lines. SyncTwin’s connection to cuOpt delivers routing efficiencies that optimize all of these moving parts — from vehicles to robotic pallet jacks.

As the SyncTwin solution was developed on top of Omniverse and USD, manufacturers can ensure that their various factory planning tools can contribute to the creation of a rich digital twin environment. Plus, they eliminate tedious manual data collection and gain new insights from their previously disconnected data.

Attend GTC to explore how cuOpt is achieving world-record accuracy and performance to solve complex problems. Learn more about cuOpt world records in our tech blog. Learn more about Omniverse.