Irish geospatial technology company AI Mapit is aiming to raise a seed funding round that will allow it to target a global market with its new geotagging solution to digitise assets in the real-world environment.
The Trinity College and SFI Adapt Centre spinout is designed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of maintenance and monitoring for roadside infrastructure operators such as telecoms and utilities, road management agencies and smart cities. Its technology could help reduce costs and the carbon footprint of monitoring and maintaining roadside assets throughout Ireland and further afield.
AI Mapit’s system uses computer vision and artificial intelligence to create “digital twins” - digital representations - of large networks of physically distributed assets such as telegraph poles and lampposts all over the country.
“To create a digital twin of them would be too expensive with traditional means, so AI is the only way to do it,” explained Julie Connelly, chief executive of AI Mapit. “It’s giving operators of those large networks way of transforming into the digital world, because prior to this, it would be engineers visiting site. Ireland has around 95,000 kilometers of road; we could add that in a couple of weeks when it will take months to do by hand or by site engineers visiting.”
The company’s technology takes street level imagery from companies such as TomTom and uses new statistical and image processing techniques to accurately identify assets and tag them with unique GPS coordinates. The neural network detects objects of interest visible in the images, weeds out the duplicates that can appear in multiple photographs, and ascertain detailed measurements such as height of signs or poles, width, and distance from verge. The system can then monitor these assets overtime to assess damage, for example, or the growth of surrounding trees that could impact visibility.
“If you can predict when they’re going to need maintenance, then your whole operations process can be a lot more streamlined,” said Ms Connelly.
The system could also be used to audit speed limit signs, for example, and subsequently identify which ones need to be changed in the event of a nationwide altering of speed limits, or to reduce street clutter where multiple poles have been installed for different signs.
The team, which was originally funded by an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation fund and based at Maynooth University, is now seeking to close a seed round of funding. Led by Prof Rozenn Dahyot, it has participated in startup accelerators and enterprise development programmes in ADAPT and Trinity, and the AWS Startup Loft Accelerator, and is also taking part in the InterTrade Ireland Seedcorn regional finals.
“Through AI Mapit, clients in industries ranging from telecommunications and utility network operators, urban planning, infrastructure management, and environmental sustainability will gain access to innovative tools that streamline decision-making processes and enhance operational efficiency,” said Prof Dahyot. “The company’s commitment to providing accurate, timely, and actionable geospatial insights is set to redefine the landscape of GIS [Geographic Information System] services.”
AI Mapit will continue to collaborate with academic institutions, industry partners, and others to address the challenges facing remote infrastructure management.