Concept: Swiss sustainable energy company Hitachi Energy has rolled out an AI-based solution named Hitachi Vegetation Manager (HVM) that detects and manages vegetation near power lines and helps authorities to make an informed decision to prevent wildfires. Hitachi Energy claims that it is the first closed-loop vegetation resource planning solution and is part of the company’s Lumada Inspections Insights offering.

Nature of Disruption: HVM combines satellite imagery and deep AI visual analysis to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of an organization’s vegetation job activities and planning efforts. The solution uses algorithms to take images of trees and forests from various visual sources including photos, videos, and imagery from industry-leading Maxar satellites. The solution leverages AI technology to analyze the images captured by the satellites. The planning solution combines images, climate data, and ML algorithms to provide utilities with grid-wide visibility and better insights so that organizations can optimize decision-making. HVM provides a web-based back-office application to manage vegetation inventories and planning efforts. HVM provides organizations with more comprehensive insights at scale enabling them to reduce costs and emissions by minimizing truck and helicopter trips.

Outlook: The number and intensity of wildfires are increasing across the globe and are generating carbon emissions that can be harmful to the ozone layer. The majority of the electrical outages in the US are caused when power lines come into contact with vegetation and can lead to monetary as well as infrastructure loss. Hitachi Energy claims that the new HVM solution leverage AI to track and analyze vegetation to prevent wildfires. The company claims that the new solution is essential for utilities around the world that are dealing with unprecedented climate-related challenges.

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