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Shell partners with Microsoft to identify smokers at stations

Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technology is being trialled at Shell stations to identify risky behaviors.

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Shell invests in safety with Azure, AI, and machine vision

On Monday, Microsoft published a blog post explaining a pilot project at two Shell gas stations, one in Thailand and one in Singapore. One of elements of the program is using artificial intelligence (AI) to identify people smoking near gas pumps.

With onsite video cameras and a device in the station running Microsoft Azure IoT Edge, retailers can identify dangerous behaviours through AI: people lighting up cigarettes, improper fuelling, theft, reckless driving, violence.

Once the deep learning solution has identified an issue, the system will alert employees, so they can quickly respond and eliminate potential problems.

“This pilot project is just one example of how Shell is integrating AI, cloud computing and IoT technology across all dimensions of its energy business,” according to Jennifer Langston, writer of the Microsoft blog article.

Because Microsoft’s solution uses Azure IoT Edge, Azure IoT Hub and Azure Databricks to process much of the data onsite and only uploads frames that need more advanced AI processing, nearly all that lag time is eliminated. In the pilot project, the employees are also able to provide feedback on how well the system performed, allowing the model to learn from each experience.

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