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Telefonica, Huawei using 5G drones to monitor rail tracks

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Telefonica has joined forces with Huawei and Ineco to launch a pilot of 5G-powered drones to help Spain’s national railway operator Adif inspect railway tracks. The pilot will form part of the Galicia 5G technology trials launched last year and, if successful, will be replicated throughout the country as 5G networks are rolled out to all areas of Spain, reports El Economista. The aim is to eventually use drones to inspect more than 15,000 kilometers of Spain’s railway network, above all infrastructure in the most remote areas.

In Galicia, Telefonica is using drones from Ineco and mobile infrastructure from Huawei, combined with Oculus VR glasses and its own Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to inspect railway infrastructure in the localities of Barra do Mino, Os Peares, Cortegada and Filgueira. The remote-controlled drones are equipped with high-resolution cameras and a 5G modem to gather real-time aerial footage that is immediately transferred to the control centres of Adif companies, allowing the railway operator to automate inspection processes. 

Telefonica was awarded European and national funds for the tests in the first call for 5G pilot projects launched by Spain’s ICT development agency 

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