It looks like AT&T is ramping up business and taking its cell tower inspections to the next level.
AT&T is constantly installing, repairing or inspecting one of its 65,000 cell towers. That’s a lot of towers and even more work. So what are they doing to reduce the workload? According to the AT&T blog, they are contracting out the work to vendors who conduct drone inspections of towers.
Now, the video analytics team at AT&T Labs has joined forces with the National Drone Team to bring automated cell tower inspections a step closer to reality. By adding automation into the mix, jobs will be completed better, faster, better and most importantly, more efficiently. They hope that with regulatory changes and further research, automated inspections will be possible in the near future.
Imagine in the future a drone stationed by a cell tower. It fully charges itself. It then inspects and communicates the condition of the tower, with the future possibility of repairs it. It’s a game-changing concept.
The thought process behind this idea is similar to the concept of driverless cars, the ultimate goals being full automation. While AT&T isn;t there yet, they have created a deep learning-based algorithm that analyzes video footage and shows promise in detecting defects and anomalies. Currently, they are investigating how drones can be used to inspect these towers and feed HD video to our technicians, who can view the video in real-time.
To learn more about our collaborative Drone AI project at AT&T, visit att.com.