DJI and Southern Company Partner to Expand the Use of Drone Technology in the Utility Industry
Southern Company Will Test Using Drones For Utility Inspection And Repair
October 30, 2018 – DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, has formalized its ongoing collaboration with Southern Company, the nation’s second largest utility company, by designating it as a Solution Development Partner. Through this strategic alliance, DJI and Southern Company are dedicated to expanding the use of drones as reliable tools that benefit the utility industry across a wide range of applications from airlifting heavy loads to the top of power poles to routine maintenance inspections.
''As one of the nation’s largest utility providers, Southern Company has provided valuable insight into the application of drone technology for routine equipment inspection and maintenance as well as using it for disaster recovery efforts where saving time can mean saving lives,” said Jan Gasparic, Director of Strategic Partnerships at DJI. “We look forward to working with Southern Company as we collaborate on new hardware and software solutions that will help make DJI drones an indispensable tool for the utilities industry.”
As a Solution Development Partner, Southern Company will help co-develop and test customized solutions for the utilities industry. DJI and Southern Company have worked together to respond to local issues and large-scale disasters like Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael, including using drones for line-pulling to repair downed powerlines, and airlifting heavy equipment like FAA tower beacons that are affixed to the top of power poles.
Southern Company will also become a member of the DJI Advisory Council, an organization created by DJI with the intent of engaging with partners, end-users and customers to identify a drone strategy roadmap for industries that stand to significantly benefit from the further adoption of drone technology.
''Southern Company is proud to be designated a Solution Development Partner with DJI. At Southern Company, we train and place UAS technology in the hands of employees throughout our many business units. Given the attractive price point and reliability, DJI remains the natural selection for this application, meeting our UAS needs,” says Dean Barefield, Southern Company’s UAS Program Manager.
''We believe that we have only begun to scratch the surface of UAS technology and are always looking for new and innovative ways to employ UAS on our system,” Barefield continued. “We are interested in smaller, more capable, and versatile platforms that can be safely deployed under more challenging conditions. DJI has heard our requests and is committed to meeting our industry needs. In addition, DJI has remained extremely sensitive to our IT and cyber security requirements.”
''We are extremely excited for this unique opportunity and look forward to what the future holds in store for this relationship,”he concluded.
The strategic alliance was announced at DJI’s AirWorks 2018 Conference, an annual commercial drone event that brings DJI users together to inspire, connect and energize attendees about the beneficial drone applications available to enterprises today as well as the future of the global commercial drone industry. For more information, please visit https://enterprise.dji.com/airworks.