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Improving Operational Workflows and Decision-Making With Computer Vision And 5G

Computer Vision and 5G Applications: The public sector is in a prime position to benefit from the utilization of today’s technology

The desire for increased operational efficiency has accelerated across various industries since the onset of COVID-19, and most, if not all, companies are undergoing some facet of digital transformation in order to achieve this.

The public sector is an area that needs to be agile in the adoption of today’s technologies. Historically, humans working in this industry have conducted visual inspections. While human vision is impressive, the truth is that it wasn’t designed for the task at hand.

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When it’s required for prolonged periods to focus and provide an accurate assessment of many classes of objects and events, we are consistently now outperformed by computer vision.

There’s a grand opportunity at hand for the public sector to improve workflows, increase efficiencies and augment the role of people by adopting the new developments in A.I. and better network connectivity, including 5G.

Inspections and Assessments using Computer Vision

When humans conduct field inspections, be it the wind turbine blades, powerlines, or other large infrastructure assets the individual brings their general intelligence to the project. The compliance quality or field inspector is aware that there may be an issue and is focused on observing for that one matter. That ground-level viewpoint is beneficial, but it isn’t the most efficient or accurate. Unmanned Aerial View (UAV) technology advancements, e.g., drones, are a key inspection tool for issues detection. The kind of bird’s eye view that UAV technology provides companies allows them to complete assessments at a macro level and truly understand the potential issues both at hand and forthcoming.

Drones, coupled with artificial intelligence, can be deployed across a specific flight path for repeatable data capture in video and imagery forms. The captured data can processed and analyzed in real time, i.e, computer vision, to identify which items of interest are defective within specific geo-location then shared for analysis and action planning with inspection staff, engineers, or project managers on the job.

Improvements in time efficiency ensue by having the ability to prioritize work orders based on severity,  which can keep total cost down, and directly point inspectors to appropriate locations while arming them with vital information beforehand.

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Public safety and smarter decisions

Smarter cities will cause a fundamental shift in how we live. However, the route of installing IoT sensors will not provide us the complete picture.

Another option is to retrofit the closed-circuit T.V.s (CCTV) scattered across cities with artificially intelligent video analytics software to help city planners, security personnel, emergency services, and police better interpret the vast amounts of available visual data produced at any one moment.

This retrofitting essentially turns CCTV cameras into sensors that will help the video analytics software begin to learn what is “normal” for the particular zones it is capturing. Since humans and vehicles move in unpredictable patterns, creating exclusion zones in the design phase increases the data capture’s accuracy for interest areas.

For example, as cities eventually come out of lockdown, city and state officials will need to heavily rely on the data to identify how well social distancing guidelines are adhered to ensure that areas, where people gather, are safe. Real-time video analytics can ensure no Personal Identified Data (PID) is captured, so companies and the government aren’t tracking individuals and infringing upon their privacy.

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As the video analytics software learns about its designated zone and what deviations to ignore, the individuals observing the data can make smarter decisions.

The Role of 5G Applications

Adopting 5G networks within cities will provide ultra-low latency connectivity to those that need it most. To give you an idea, a connected ambulance en route to an accident would have the ability to tap into local CCTV cameras or deploy a drone to get a high-quality video to assess the damage before arrival. Additionally, the ambulance could also connect to the city’s traffic signals network to effectively yield forthcoming traffic.

In 2012, Carnegie Mellon University partnered with the City of Pittsburgh and East Liberty Development Inc to study smart traffic signals in a specific location and discovered a 40 percent reduction in vehicle wait time and 26 percent reduction in travel time.

At this scale, imagine what that technology with today’s 5G networks could do for notorious city street traffic such as in Los Angeles, CA.

The future is bright and the utilization of these technologies will streamline workflows and decision-making, resulting in a more efficient world.

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