UK readies Google-style map of electricity cables

UK Power Networks has partnered with Google to create digital maps covering more than 180,000km of electricity cables

Big Zero Report 2022

What if the UK’s electricity cables had their own Google map?

UK Power Networks (UKPN) has partnered with Google’s artificial intelligence division to create maps of electricity cables.

The project could see nearly 180,000 kilometres of electricity cables in London, the East and the South East mapped.

Google‘s engineers will use image recognition software to scan thousands of hand-drawn maps, remastering them into a digital version.

The companies said until now, no Artificial Intelligence software has been able to recognise hand-drawn straight lines and classify objects like electricity cables, then recreate them as fully-interactive digital files.

Alex Mahon, Head of Analytics at UKPN, said: “We’ve been collaborating with Google throughout the past year to trial this, and we’ve been getting increasingly excited throughout.

“Not only will it help keep people safe and help more low carbon technologies connect, but it has huge implications for utility sectors across the world who may wish to do the same.

“This innovation could save millions of pounds for customers and help enable net zero – that’s the power of digital innovation.”

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