VEON to make drone intelligence tech public after Russia pilot success

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Mobile operator VEON, whose two biggest markets are Russia and Ukraine, says it will share the know-how of its drone-based AI solution with the international telecom community so that they can assist with the search and rescue of missing persons in their communities.

The VEON Augmented Intelligence Platform was originally developed to help out Liza Alert, a non-profit search and rescue volunteer organization in Russia. Combining high-resolution drone imaging, fast mobile communications, and artificial intelligence, VEON’s tech is capable of reducing the time taken to find missing persons.

For this, VEON used DJI M300 RTK drones that can operate both during the day and at night in harsh weather conditions. The company found that during a 45-minute flight, a single drone was able to capture over 2,500 images, which were then transmitted via mobile networks to VEON’s datacenter for automatic processing. Any findings from the data were then communicated back to the on-the-ground team so that appropriate action could be taken.

Also read: This mobile phone detecting payload can be a gamechanger for search and rescue drones

Liza Alert was able to locate and rescue more than 31,650 missing people in Russia last year, and VEON’s Augmented Intelligence Platform proved helpful on several occasions.

Now, in addition to announcing its intentions to provide open access to the drone imagery solution, VEON says that Beeline, its mobile operator in Russia, will provide Liza Alert with advanced multi-sim technology also.

Having multi-sim capability would enable the organization’s drones and rescue teams to access the networks of all four mobile operators that operate in Russia at the same time. And, through a technique called “sim balancing,” they would then be able to automatically select the strongest network available.

As Alexander Torbakhov, CEO of Beeline Russia, says:

When it is about saving lives there is no room for competitive thinking, this is why we have decided to deploy the multi-sim technology and included all of Russia’s mobile operators in the solution. By working together, we can provide Liza Alert with an optimized solution and help locate missing people faster. The best technologies should be used for the ones who need it most.

Buoyed by the initial successes of search and rescue drones, VEON is now conducting more pilot programs to see how its technology can be extended to serve other areas of the community. Some possible applications, according to the company, include aerial identification of damaged roads and illegal garbage dumps, as well as agricultural monitoring.

Read more: How agricultural drones are helping Ukraine prepare for the upcoming farming season

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