Nvidia hardware puts power-pole tracking technology to the test
FirstEnergy has completed a pilot program demonstrating how computer vision can be deployed to analyze thousands of utility pole infrastructure images.
The company teamed up with Noteworthy AI to install smart cameras in its utility truck fleet, with software powered by edge AI chips from Nvidia’s offering.
FirstEnergy’s utility pole network spans 269,000 miles of distribution lines, from New Jersey to Ohio.
The Noteworthy.AI platform provides a geolocation for each pole before visually picking out the presence of components like insulators and current transformers. The computer vision software can then gauge whether it is physically damaged.
Nvidia says manual maintenance workers inspect a fraction of the 185 million utility poles in the U.S. in a single year. It would take an entire decade for them to inspect all of them.
In a pilot test last summer, FirstEnergy’s technology collected more than 5,000 high-resolution images of its poles within 30 days, which expanded its database by more than fivefold, according to Nvidia.
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