Drone tech to cut CO2 on road project ‘by 90%’

By Catrin Jones22 February 2022

Technology being used on a road inspection project in Lithuania promises to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90%.

AB Kelių priežiūra, a state-owned company that ensures the maintenance of national roads, has joined forces with technology companies Thrust and Agmis to introduce an automated drone based inspection system, driven by artificial intelligence (AI).

(Photo: Agmis)

The project, named GreenBee, aims to improve the quality and scope of road network inspection and to reduce CO2 emissions created while performing inspection tasks.

Vehicles will be replaced by UAVs equipped with high-definition cameras and multiple sensors. The drones will fly along the inspection routes and gather data for further analysis. Acquired video and sensor data will be analysed by employing AI and Computer Vision technologies to identify any defects or troublespots.

Agmis will provide the AI video analysis services whilst the UAV platform for the project will be developed by Thrust.

Head of quality and technology at AB Kelių priežiūra, Jolita Mackiene, said, “By rapidly covering large areas and pinpointing areas of potential defects, UAVs and AI analysis will act as a reconnaissance service. This will allow us to efficiently plan manned inspection routes and to dispatch teams to the areas requiring prompt action.”

Mackiene added that the introduction of UAVs could help to reduce the carbon footprint of inspections by 90% and will also help to divert maintenance resources from initial surveying to more critical tasks.

“AI video analysis is a game-changer in infrastructure inspection. From power lines, to gas pipes, solar and wind farms and other industrial objects, automated inspection frameworks help tackle even the largest projects, which otherwise would not be feasible. In addition, it uniforms the defect spotting process, eliminating the human factors in the process. By reducing costs and improving efficiency, AI analysis is quickly becoming a standard staple in today’s infrastructure diagnostics”, added head of product development at Agmis Zygintas Sitkauskas.

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