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AI-First Tech Launched to Help Utilities Mitigate Risk of Wildfires and Storms

Sept. 12, 2023
New capabilities enable utilities to implement end-to-end vegetation management workflows with real-time insights and automate operations.

AiDash, a provider of utility vegetation management and other satellite and AI-powered operations, maintenance, and sustainability solutions, announced Intelligent Vegetation Management System (IVMS) 2.0. The SatelliteVision and VegetationAI powered software offers new capabilities for utilities to transform vegetation management operations.

 Vegetation management can be costly and ineffective for utilities that don’t use modern tools and processes to run their programs, according to the company. In 2022, utilities spent $24.2 billion on vegetation management, often the single largest line item in their operations and maintenance budgets. That spend is expected to reach $39.2 billion by 2029.

IVMS 2.0 uses four key technologies: 

● SatelliteVision — A proprietary and patent-pending AiDash technology that transforms how satellite imagery is acquired and processed at global scale. Partnerships with satellite providers enable IVMS 2.0 to scan and process large T&D networks with more than 100,000 miles of overhead lines in a matter of weeks.

● Multisource Data Fusion  AiDash IVMS 2.0 has native capability to ingest and process remote sensing data at scale. Data can come from satellites, aerial imagery from drones, helicopters, fixed-wing planes, and LiDAR data from aerial or vehicle-mounted sensors.

AiDash IVMS 2.0 fuses this data with other third-party and utility data. Rather than asking utility customers to collect or clean the data, AiDash procures and cleanses all required remote sensing and third-party information, as well all utility data. With multisource data fusion, vegetation management activities can be prioritized based on weather risks, including storms and wildfires, making utilities more climate resilient.

● VegetationAI  AiDash IVMS has been deployed on more than 800,000 miles of T&D lines across 48 U.S. states and on five continents. As a result, the patent-pending AiDash VegetationAI models are trained on extensive and diverse data sets, resulting in very high accuracy in predicting vegetation risks. The robust AiDash "human in the loop" process further enhances accuracy.

AiDash VegetationAI accuracy was validated in a third-party study by Tulane University Law School. This model ensures crews are directed to top-priority locations, predicts the type of work needed, and alerts crews to bring the correct equipment — thus reducing the duration of interruptions and improving reliability.

● Automated Workflows Through New Web and Field Mobile Application — Automated workflows allow utilities to analyze, plan, and execute vegetation management activities from a single software platform, communicating directly with field staff and contractors via the new AiDash IVMS Field App. The application captures data from field personnel and feeds it back into IVMS for the next analysis, improving planning and execution while providing work plans.

“As extreme weather intensifies, utilities are facing more challenges with grid resiliency, fixed cycle manual inspections, and flat-to-declining budgets,” comments Abhishek Singh, co-founder and CEO of AiDash. “AiDash is driving innovation to address these challenges and bring more intelligence to traditional vegetation management. Utilities can now use an all-in-one software application to ensure vegetation management operations are as efficient as possible, without needing multiple tools.”

AiDash launched Intelligent Vegetation Management System (IVMS) in 2020 and works with more than 90 utility customers, including National Grid, Entergy, Xcel Energy and Avista.

 "Our initial work with IVMS 2.0 has allowed us to optimize our VM workflows. We will soon be able to analyze, plan, and execute our work plans from a single platform, which now includes the new field application," says Avista Asset Maintenance Manager Heather Webster.  "And we've been very impressed with the level of service and support AiDash provides with the product as well."

“As our industry deals with increased costs, we need to become more data-driven and look for operational efficiencies,” says Heath Williams, senior analyst of vegetation management for Entergy. “With this intelligent approach to vegetation management, we are able to streamline work management processes, predict areas of future impact, and allow access to data in the field.”

The business will be at Booth #101 at the Trees & Utilities National Conference September 12-14 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, providing in-depth demonstrations of IVMS 2.0.

 AiDash IVMS 2.0 is currently in pre-production. General release is scheduled for Q4 2023.

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