Unmanned Life’s Autonomous Drone Fleet Powered by BT and Ericsson’s Private 5G Network in Port of Tyne

Unmanned Life’s Autonomous Drone Fleet Powered by BT and Ericsson’s Private 5G Network in Port of Tyne

In February 2024, a significant collaboration unfolded in Tyne New Castle, as Connected Places Catapult, BT, and Ericsson combined efforts to unveil the potential of U-Security within the Port of Tyne. This trial, integral to Connected Places Catapult’s Maritime Accelerator programme, marked a notable advancement in port security operations, integrating autonomous drone technology with BT and Ericsson’s private 5G network.

The deployment showcased various advanced capabilities aimed at enhancing security, inspection processes, and worker safety within the port environment. These included thermal imaging, AI-driven decision-making, autonomous charging, fleet control, real-time video streaming, and remote monitoring.

This trial had impressive results with key highlights include:

  • Rapid incident response (<60 seconds)
  • Enhanced worker safety with real-time monitoring
  • Improved security through automated patrols
  • Efficient asset inspection (18x faster with thermal imaging)
  • Reduced risk to personnel with drone deployment
  • Swift deployment within hours

Traditional surveillance tools in ports often face limitations such as blind spots, limited range, and manual errors. By equipping drones with cellular modems and leveraging 5G connectivity, these limitations are overcome. Unlike traditional RF communication methods, 5G offers extended range, unaffected by physical barriers, and ensures secure, high-bandwidth data transmission.

The success of this trial underscores the transformative potential of integrating autonomous drone technology with advanced private 5G networks in industrial settings. As ports continue to seek innovative solutions to enhance security, efficiency, and safety, the collaboration between Unmanned Life, BT, and Ericsson sets a new standard. Moving forward, the deployment of such cutting-edge technology promises to redefine operational paradigms across various sectors, ensuring safer and more efficient environments for all stakeholders involved.

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