Utilities that adopt these new solutions see improvements in reliability, safety, costs and service. At GE Digital we’ve seen use cases in:
- Asset and defect recognition
- Hotspot detection
- Change detection
- Land surveying
- Emergency response
- Vegetation encroachment
- Network Inventory and system of record (GIS) reconciliation
The AI-enabled platform can take the visual inspection data and identify what it is looking at and even recognize defects. The computer vision can automatically detect the asset and its component parts. Additionally, the utility might run a change detection program to see what it is missing or if it needs repair. This can benefit maintenance planning and optimize the scheduling of field crews (who go out into the field knowing what to expect and what tools and equipment will be needed).
The technology also optimizes network planning. For instance, a utility doing land survey can use the visual inspection data and change detection to identify someone building a house or other type of right of way impediment.
The emergency response application is also growing more prevalent. With aerial inspection integrated with the network, the utility can quickly send out drones to collect data on a storm or wildfire. The inspection data is then efficiently ingested, inspected, and contextualized to enable more efficient (and safer) outage response.
Visual data inspection management can also help minimize the costs associated with vegetation encroachment. With automated point cloud classification and configurable risk assessment, the utility can optimize its trimming plans.
Finally, visual data inspection can be leveraged to build (or reconcile) systems of records by sending status updates to GIS.