Artificial Intelligence Gives Petrol Pump Safety a Boost

Published Jun-07-19

Using artificial intelligence programs and AI-based devices to detect dangerous behavior when drivers are refueling.

Neuroplex/Shell, India

The Story:

Artificial Intelligence Gives Petrol Pump Safety a Boost With large quantities of flammable fuel, petrol filling stations are particularly hazardous places to be around. Minor mistakes and carelessness can have potentially disastrous consequences.

Enhancing safety at pumps was one of the inspirations behind a product called Eyes Age by Neuroplex, a startup founded by two students from Thiruvananthapuram. The innovation uses deep learning to empower video surveillance with artificial intelligence capabilities.

With the Neuroplex system, petrol pumps will be able to manage the entry and exit of vehicles using automatic number plate recognition and send out alerts in the event of garage forecourt protocol violations such as the use of mobile phones. The startup has signed an agreement with the Indian Oil Corporation which is planning to install Eyes Age in 20 pumps during 2019.

The company's AI-based innovation can also be used to improve the customer experience. For example, it can analyze vehicle number plates and provide customers with tailored offers.

Enhancing Forecourt Safety

Other companies are also developing artificial intelligence devices to make petrol pumps safer. In late 2018 Shell selected C3 IoT and Microsoft Azure to power a companywide AI platform. Video cameras and a device placed inside petrol pumps running Microsoft Azure IoT Edge can use AI tools to detect potentially dangerous behaviors at the pump such as someone lighting a cigarette or improper fueling.

Dubious frames can be instantaneously uploaded to the Microsoft Azure cloud where more powerful artificial intelligence tools swing into operation. If they detect that a person is, in fact, smoking an instant alert is sent to the garage attendants who can turn off the pumps immediately. This system was tested successfully at two petrol stations in Thailand and Singapore.

Shell also plans to roll out its sophisticated AI tools to other parts of the business such as refineries where they can detect whether parts need maintenance long before issues arise. One of the many ways the technology is already helping is predicting the risk of compressor failure 24 or 48 hours in advance, something that previously had not been easy to do despite all the instrumentation and expertise.

Possibilities are Endless

According to Shell the possibilities with artificial intelligence are endless, improving all aspects of its operations.

“The new possibilities in working with data over the last few years are unlocking amazing opportunities in all aspects of what we do in the company,” said Yuri Sebregts, Shell’s executive vice president for technology and chief technology officer. “Most immediately, this will help us scale solutions we’ve been developing.”

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