Leveraging the Metaverse for Industrial Efficiency: A Deep Dive into Transportation, Supply Chain, and Logistics
The metaverse is no longer a buzzword confined to the realm of consumer applications. This article explores a report by Ernst & Young and Nokia, shedding light on how the industrial and enterprise metaverses are revolutionizing the transportation, supply chain, and logistics sectors.
The metaverse, a term often associated with gaming and social networking, is making significant strides in the industrial and enterprise sectors, particularly in transportation, supply chain, and logistics. A recent report by Ernst & Young and Nokia, titled The Metaverse at Work, provides a comprehensive analysis of the current state and future potential of the metaverse in these sectors.
Contrary to the popular belief that the metaverse is a futuristic concept, the report reveals that the industrial and enterprise metaverses are already here and growing rapidly. The study, conducted across six geographies and four industries, presents a consistent global picture, demonstrating how metaverse use cases are being practically planned and deployed across key verticals.
The report highlights that the benefits realized by early adopters generally exceed the expectations of those in pre-deployment stages. It underscores the true challenges they’ve faced, often hinged on technical infrastructure, and reveals that the partners they are employing to face these challenges are not necessarily the companies seen as driving the advancement of the metaverse.
One of the key findings of the report is that companies believe in the power of the metaverse, with only 2% of respondents viewing it as a buzzword or fad. Furthermore, 58% of companies planning to enter the industrial and enterprise metaverses have already done so through at least a pilot program.
In the context of transportation, supply chain, and logistics, the metaverse offers significant potential. For instance, visualized predictive maintenance and autonomous/remote-controlled maintenance robotics are two use cases that have shown promising results. By overlaying sensor data on a digital twin, information can be made more actionable for technicians, leading to improved process efficiency and sustainability due to minimized machine downtime and extended machine lifetimes.
Moreover, the use of autonomous or remote-controlled robotics for maintenance and repairs allows for prompt interventions for vehicles on the move. This not only results in capital expenditure (CAPEX) reduction and sustainability benefits due to extended machine lifetimes but also improves safety by reducing the need to put humans in higher-risk environments for certain repairs.
The report also emphasizes the importance of technical enablers that allow for enhanced collection, transmission, storage, and processing of data, which are foundational to launching metaverse use cases. These enablers include cloud computing, AI/ML, industrial data collection, and network. For instance, cloud computing enables the storage and processing of the large quantities of data inputs and outputs required to orchestrate metaverse use cases. AI/ML is indispensable for modeling digital twins and creating realistic environments and simulations and interpreting data/making predictions.
However, the deployment of metaverse use cases is not without risks. The primary concerns for metaverse use cases are cyber, information security, and data privacy, with over 60% of respondents citing these as primary risks. Cyber and information security risks are paramount across a range of digital use cases but are amplified by the drastic increase in data, that industrial and enterprise metaverse use cases will produce. Data privacy risks can prove especially complex, particularly as companies expand the scope and scale of use cases to reflect a more interwoven, data-driven virtual ecosystem, incorporating valuable, potentially sensitive, data assets.
- The industrial and enterprise metaverses are already here and growing rapidly, with significant potential for the transportation, supply chain, and logistics sectors.
- Visualized predictive maintenance and autonomous/remote-controlled maintenance robotics are two promising use cases in these sectors, leading to improved process efficiency, sustainability, and safety.
- The benefits realized by early adopters of the metaverse generally exceed the expectations of those in pre-deployment stages, underscoring the tangible value of the metaverse in the industrial and enterprise sectors.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the application of the metaverse in the transportation, supply chain, and logistics sectors. How is your organization leveraging the metaverse? What challenges and opportunities do you foresee? Share your insights and join the conversation in the comments section below.