Revolutionary automated LiDAR classification now available through Neara’s self-service offering

by | Feb 2, 2023

New solution offers LiDAR-based insights of critical infrastructure 30x faster than manual processing

SEATTLE Neara, a leading climate tech software platform and provider of 3D interactive simulation models of critical infrastructure, today announced its revolutionary automated LiDAR (Light Detection & Ranging) classification solution will be available through a new self-service offering.

Utility companies, and geospatial teams that capture and classify LiDAR for utilities, will now have easy access to LiDAR classification that is up to 30 times faster than manual LiDAR classification, which across a 10,000 square mile network area can take up to 80,000 hours and cost millions of dollars.

Manual LiDAR classification involves painstaking effort, with a single linear mile taking up to 10 hours to classify. The manual process typically requires multiple analysts per project, with multiple sets of human judgements leaving room for error, subjectivity, inconsistency, and, as a result, inaccuracy. The automated classification available through Neara’s self-service offering applies a single logic across an entire project territory, reducing the frequency of common errors. Manual processing can easily conflate disparate objects in dense areas. Importantly, automatic LiDAR classification can also detect utility assets that would otherwise fly under the radar as noise with a manual approach. When geospatial analysts manually classify LiDAR, they cross-reference assets with utilities’ Geographic Information System (GIS) records — but when GIS records are incomplete, analysts have no hope of accurately classifying those assets with a manual approach.

“The geospatial insights LiDAR provides collectively takes large teams thousands of hours to manually classify, but our automated solution can do this more accurately and much faster. This means network operators now have enhanced and accelerated access to insights that optimize and protect their networks,” said Neara Chief Commercial Officer Jack Curtis. “Based on millions of miles of training data, we have been iterating on our AI/ML models to consistently deliver high-quality classification and are now pleased to offer this to our customers through a new self-service offering.”

This self-service offering keeps point cloud data onshore and the end-to-end workflow in-house, as well as classifying, vectorizing, and extracting insights from point cloud data all within one single platform.

“The speed and accuracy of our self-service platform is able to eliminate classification inconsistencies, deliver greater accuracy in dense areas and offer critical corrections to out-of-date GIS records,” Curtis said.

Automatic LiDAR classification also makes LiDAR significantly more affordable, from both an absolute cost and time efficiency perspective. This encourages greater adoption among utilities, which means more utilities can level up their risk reduction efforts. This will help ensure a safer future for communities all over the world.

A limited release will be available to select customers in the coming weeks.

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About Neara

Neara is a climate tech leader that helps future-proof critical utility infrastructure by creating 3D, network-wide models that reflect and simulate how utility assets behave in their real-world environment in any scenario. Neara’s cloud-based platform empowers utilities to prepare for anything — from systematic risks to severe weather and a clean energy future, to protect assets, field teams, and communities. Utilities and engineers across the globe count on Neara – from building resiliency against cascading pole failure in harsh New Zealand snowstorms; to designing new grid plans in the heart of South Africa – Neara has been configured and deployed to multiple international standards across a combined territory of >650k square miles and >2.5m assets.

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