AI Used to Prevent Californian Wildfires


The utility industry is adopting AI to keep their equipment in good working order and keep people and property safe.

A volt transmission failure in Sonoma County is considered the cause of the Kincade Fire, which burned 77,000 acres of forest and destroyed over 120 buildings.  

It’s not the first time faulty power lines have been the cause of major wildfires, and these faults are expected to occur more frequently as the aging grid infrastructure requires more maintenance.

SEE ALSO: Real-Time Data Promises to Reduce Firefighting Risks

To reduce the likelihood of a fault leading to evacuations and destruction, Buzz Solutions has developed an artificial intelligence solution, which warns utilities about potential problems before they happen.

The current review process of electrical infrastructure takes six to eight months, as engineers have to sift through thousands of images and then conduct in-person inspections, before fixing the faults.

Buzz Solutions’ AI platform reduces the investigation time to a couple of days, as it runs all of the images through an asset-tracking system, which can detect faults and vegetation encroachment.

“It is definitely time to move forward using AI to reduce the wildfire threat. We believe the utility industry is ready to use a far better approach to keep their equipment in good working order and keep people and property safe,” said Kaitlyn Albertoli, co-founder and CEO at Buzz Solutions.

Alongside the asset-tracking platform, Buzz Solutions also offers a predictive maintenance solution, which feeds historical, asset and fault, and weather data to determine future high-risk areas.

“Our vision is to use innovative technology to safeguard our infrastructure and environment today and help to predict where problems will crop up in the future,” said Vikhyat Chaudhry, co-founder at CTO at Buzz Solutions. “This is even more important as we are seriously impacted by climate change.”

Several utilities across the U.S. are piloting the platform, including a utility in Southern California and New York. It recently received $1.2 million in seed funding to expand its operations.

David Curry

About David Curry

David is a technology writer with several years experience covering all aspects of IoT, from technology to networks to security.

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