An accelerator program for firms working in maritime tech and seaport operations selected 12 companies to showcase during a demo day in Tel Aviv on September 13, as reported in CTech. The firms participated in a 15-week coaching and mentorship program to arrive at their projects, which are vying for continued investment by the Ashdod Port Company, operator of Israel’s national port.

Christened “Batch 2” in the Ashdod Port Accelerator by 500 Global (VC firm 500 Global is also a partner) the 12 firms demonstrated proof-of-concept for technologies and tools from the world of biometrics, real-time security, video analytics, and other proposed solutions to challenges in logistics, operations and cybersecurity.

Eli Bar Yosef, the acting CEO of Ashdod Port, said the goal is to turn the marine traffic hub into a smart port that is known around the world.

Cruise professionals say smart ports are worth the cost

A panel convened at Seatrade Europe to discuss the potential that biometrics present for the cruise industry. Topics under discussion included the importance of involving local authorities in the design and creation of smart ports, the use of AI to help control passenger flow, and the ratio of cost to customer satisfaction.

As reported in Seatrade Cruise News, the four participants, who represented Cruise Saudi, Maritime Solutions LHIND, Global Ports Holding & Ege Port Kuşadası, and Royal Caribbean Group, concluded that the use of biometrics in ports would ultimately lead to more convenience and higher customer satisfaction. But they acknowledged concerns around data ownership and the potential for misuse of private biometric information.

Many seaports and cruise lines in the U.S. already use biometrics. For instance, Carnival Cruise Lines uses facial scans to expedite disembarkation, by matching on-site kiosk photos with ID documents.

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