A Better Option
General Electric (GE) is now exploring the use of drones as a cost-effective and safer option for power line inspection. The drones, which can travel up to 15 miles, capture images of possible issues, such as vegetation growing too close to the wires. However their roles aren't limited to just image capturing. GE has invested in cloud computing technology that enables the drones to "plot destinations, generate flight paths, and wirelessly transmit data to a remote center for analysis." The data gathered and captured is then calculated for the rate of possible damage that these dangers could cause.
The Rise of Drones
Navigant Research shares that drone and cloud technology sales and services-related to utility-industry inspections will only account for $132M in sales this year, however they expect this number to rise to $4.1B by 2024. A lot of other companies like Consolidated Edison in New York and San Diego Gas & Electric have already expressed their interest in using drones for routine service check ups. Alex Tepper, GE'S global director for innovation, says, "with any technology, people are very nervous in the beginning. That's fine. In the end, drones are going to take off."