Tech companies want more eyes in the sky for wildfire season

Dan Nunez uploads video feeds to his computer.

“Can you see this?” He asked, pointing to some rolling and foggy hills in rural Oregon. The image was created seven minutes before Nunez opened the browser. What is not easily seen on the screen is the rising smoke.

“I wouldn’t have caught him,” Nunez said after the game. “But AI does.” Artificial Intelligence Nunez refers to the beginnings of Pano AI, California, to identify, monitor, and manage high-quality cameras. As the General Manager of Portland Electric Firefighting Planning and Analysis, Nunez is responsible for doing everything possible to find and extinguish fires as soon as possible.

Firefighting technology has taken root in the cottage industry, especially in the Western US, where fires are rampant, rampant, and costly.

PGE has so far installed five Pano cameras, with plans to add 17 more throughout Oregon this summer. The hardware provides snapshots per minute. According to Sonia Castner, the founder and CEO of Panova, Pano software can differentiate between clouds that emit clouds. As a result, Artificial Intelligence has become a major player. For firefighters, government agencies and utilities, it is important to identify wildfires in advance to limit the damage.

“Minutes are here,” said Mark Miller, chief marketing officer of AEM, a local technology company owned by Uni Park Capital. AEM sells weather stations and panoramic cameras for weather identification with satellite data. Like Pano, AEM said it relies on advanced AI to learn what wildfires look like and when.

False alarms occur, but some are less than you expect. Pano will set up a call center where staff will analyze the video before warning local customers or officials. Castner Pano’s 32 Active Camera Systems have detected wildfires with 90% accuracy.

Cameras are not particularly new solutions. Marine County, north of San Francisco. After the 2014 drought, it installed remote security cameras to replace volunteer firefighters. The county had to change them within four years because they could not distinguish between smoke and mist. Marin now uses a state-of-the-art camera system that financially supports multiple devices.

Nunez believes that there will be more use issues for the devices. “It is probably one of the most important projects in our portfolio in terms of security and environmental risk,” he said. PGE has so far spent US $ 4.5 million (RM19.80 million) on Pano systems.

In fact, consumer organizations and state governments are spending huge sums of money to fight the problem. PGE allocates US $ 32mil (RM140.86mil) budget for wildfires this year. A.D. In 2021, the agency reported a $ 45 million (RM198.09 million) increase in wildfires, three times as much as last year.

The totals are small compared to Pano and other consumer or enterprise technology companies. (Pano refuses to disclose that figure.) Pano Castner works for Google Nest on smart home devices. A.D. She founded the company in 2019, then hired other startups from Google, Apple and Tesla.

The beginner estimates that California will need 1,800 fully equipped cameras. “We are a team that exports millions of products a month.

Pano will also be selling the cameras to private businesses, including a woodworking company in Australia, which will launch six cameras this summer. He works with two resorts in Big Sky Montana. AEM, according to Miller, primarily has more than 6,500 customers in the government; There are some deals that AEM is looking for with insurance companies.

Marine County Fire Chief Chris Martineley has seen waves of AI from companies that install fire detectors. “Some are very expensive,” he said. He usually wants to add the software to the county’s existing cameras. And he has not yet seen any product that helps to identify it at night. For that, AI Tech may not provide any benefit. “It’s not as important as the view,” he said. – Bloomberg

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