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Enhancing Video Surveillance
with AI-Powered Drones

Enhancing Video Surveillance with AI-Powered Drones

According to forecasts, the size of the global drone market is likely to experience an impressive 25% CAGR, reaching US$ 279 Billion by the end of 2032. This massive growth can be attributed to the many innovative uses of drones in various sectors. On the commercial front, drones are already being used to inspect pipelines, deliver medical supplies, for inventory surveillance, and several other vital business functions. Renowned businesses like Amazon, Walmart, DHL, and many others have begun using drone fleets for their core operations. Drones are indispensable when used in potentially dangerous situations, emergency rescue operations, hostage negotiations, and so on.

So, there is a lot happening in the drone sector. Let’s figure out how drones are used in the physical security sector and how the integration of AI video analytics into drones helps enhance their surveillance capabilities.

In recent years businesses have experienced a rise in physical security incidents. Last year, 28% of businesses reported an increase in security incidents and 29% believe this tendency will continue in 2023. Most often experienced physical security incidents (48%) are thefts, with vandalism coming in the second place (13%). Apart from immediate losses from stolen or damaged inventory and assets, they cause business disruptions, and in the long run, have a detrimental effect on brand reputation and customer satisfaction. Therefore, businesses across various industries have found it necessary to upgrade video surveillance systems and deploy drones to increase security measures.

AI-powered drones: a new era of surveillance and security

AI-powered drones, equipped with sophisticated cameras, sensors, and real-time data processing capabilities, have redefined video surveillance and security measures.

Firstly, the use of drones enables real-time monitoring of an area, allowing security personnel to respond to any potential threats quickly. AI algorithms can rapidly analyze video feeds to identify abnormal patterns, unauthorized intrusions, or other potential threats. They automatically generate alerts and provide all the necessary information for better situational awareness. Gathered data can be also used for post-analysis to improve security protocols and enhance operational efficiency.

Drone security systems are particularly useful in monitoring large open areas or remote locations that are hard to access by foot or vehicle. For example, energy companies use drones to inspect pipelines, power lines, and other critical infrastructure. These drones can detect anomalies and potential failures, enhancing preventive maintenance efforts.

It is ideal for monitoring large crowds everywhere - from Superbowl to airports - to ensure perimeter protection. With the right AI solutions, drones can detect dangerous objects and even the non-compliance of social distancing norms. It can also be configured to initiate specific actions in real-time if dangerous objects or behavior are detected.

AI-powered drones are not only faster in gathering information but are also much more accurate in detecting threats. Leveraging false alarm filtering technology helps to minimize the number of invalidated threats, allowing security personnel to focus on what really matters, while ensuring that critical events will not go overlooked and receive timely intervention.

Facial recognition technology can help identify individuals who are on watch lists or have been banned from entering certain areas. Additionally, AI algorithms can detect abnormal behavior patterns, such as someone loitering in a restricted area, and alert security personnel immediately.

Moreover, drones equipped with thermal cameras can detect heat signatures, making them useful for identifying intruders in low-light conditions.

Drone security systems have proved to be cost-efficient, helping organizations build a robust security infrastructure without any significant increase in operational costs. Powerful drones with data gathering features can implement round-the-clock surveillance, covering large areas quickly and gathering loads of valuable data. Drone surveillance can also be automated by scheduling periodic patrols. Such approach is much more efficient than traditional security measures, such as human patrols or stationary cameras as helps save time and resources while still providing effective protection.


Implementation across industries

The adoption of AI-powered drones has grown exponentially across a diverse range of industries, becoming essential assets for both public and private sectors.

Law enforcement and emergency services departments

Let’s start with law enforcement agencies that utilize drones for crowd monitoring during events, crime scene analysis, search and rescue operations, or accident investigations. They help swiftly identify missing persons, suspects, or evidence in large search areas, reducing response times and enhancing officer safety. Particularly, assess the level of danger before venturing into the crime scene and risking their lives and providing situational awareness during police operations.

Drone surveillance is critical for border patrol agencies, assisting in monitoring vast stretches of borders, and detecting unauthorized crossings and suspicious activities in real-time.

During natural disasters, drones equipped with AI can quickly assess damage, help locate survivors and identify areas that need urgent attention, facilitating efficient disaster response and relief efforts.

According to a report by the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College, over 900 state and local police, sheriff, fire, and emergency services departments in the US have acquired drones for various purposes.

Infrastructure inspection

Drones are increasingly used to carry out inspections, especially when it comes to monitoring remote infrastructure. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the drone inspection market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 14.6%, reaching $ 23 Billion by 2027.

AI-powered drones help to accumulate visual data to ensure the appropriate maintenance of the equipment. Energy, transportation, and telecommunication companies employ drones to inspect power lines, bridges, pipelines, and other critical infrastructure, identify various dangers like intrusions, fire hazards or structural anomalies, such as corrosion or damage, and generate detailed reports for maintenance crews. This predictive approach minimizes downtime and potential disasters.

Leveraging drones does not only increases the efficiency of inspections, but also provide safety benefits for inspectors as they can avoid visiting hazardous sites, like chemical spills.

Securing the premises

Private security firms and organizations use security drones to monitor facilities, warehouses, and large outdoor areas. AI video analytics software enables drones to differentiate between normal and suspicious activities and provide instant notifications of potential breaches, enhancing security response times.

Construction site safety and security

The use of drones is becoming increasingly popular to secure job sites, apparently, due to the surge of crime in the construction industry. Pro-Vigil’s survey reports that 66% of construction companies have experienced at least one physical security incident in 2022. Drones can be used to implement real-time monitoring on construction sites to prevent unauthorized access and protect materials, machinery and tools.

Another useful application is conducting visual inspections of high-risk zones on construction sites. These zones, often difficult to access, pose safety risks to human inspectors. Drones, equipped with high-resolution cameras and sensors, can navigate through these areas with precision, capturing detailed imagery and relaying real-time data to project teams. This newfound ability not only mitigates safety concerns but also expedites the identification of potential issues, enabling prompt decision-making and intervention.

Regulatory Framework

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversees drone operations. The FAA's Part 107 regulations govern commercial drone usage, requiring operators to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate and adhere to specific operational guidelines. Privacy considerations are also at the forefront, with laws varying between states regarding data collection and surveillance practices.

As AI-powered technology advances and the demand for drones from various industries grows, regulations are evolving to balance with privacy and safety concerns. Thus, new regulations has been issued to lower entry barriers and promote the legal and safe operation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in commercial environments.

Final Takeaway

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, the convergence of artificial intelligence and drones has paved the way for groundbreaking advancements in various sectors. One of the most significant transformations has occurred in surveillance and security. Their ability to provide real-time insights, automate threat detection, and cover vast areas efficiently makes them indispensable assets for modern-day security efforts. While regulatory challenges persist, the continued advancements in AI and drone technology hold the promise of the adoption of drone technology will continue to rise, transforming how we approach security, monitoring, and emergency response.

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