Natural Disasters

KDDI to Deploy AI-Powered Drones Across Japan for Enhanced Disaster Response

Main image to the post KDDI to Deploy AI-Powered Drones Across Japan for Enhanced Disaster Response

KDDI, a Japanese telecommunications company, announced plans to deploy drones at 1,000 locations across Japan. These drones, equipped with cameras and sensors, will be used to respond quickly to earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Through a partnership with U.S. drone company Skydio Inc., KDDI aims to build a network of drones that can reach disaster-hit areas anywhere in Japan within 10 minutes. These drones will assist in finding people stranded at disaster sites, inspecting roads and bridges, and assessing damage to infrastructure.

KDDI and Skydio entered into a capital tie-up last week, with KDDI investing approximately 10 billion yen ($64 million) in Skydio. Skydio utilizes artificial intelligence technology to enhance the capabilities of its drones.

KDDI plans to complete the drone deployment within the next three years. Drone locations may include Lawson Inc. convenience store outlets, as KDDI is acquiring a 50% stake in the company.

"The drones will be useful in finding survivors during disasters, as they can fly in the dark and are equipped with temperature sensors," said Hiromichi Matsuda, KDDI managing executive officer.

The global drone market is currently dominated by Chinese giant SZ DJI Technology Co. However, the U.S. drone industry is experiencing rapid growth, fueled by rising tensions between the United States and China over economic security.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09