A.L.I. Technologies to Conduct Drone Surveying Tests for Private Sector Utilizing 3D Modeling Data

A.L.I. Technologies Inc. (Main office: Tokyo, Minato-ku; CEO: Daisuke Katano; hereinafter A.L.I.) is participating in PLATEAU, a project led by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to create 3D urban modeling data through drone surveying for private sector use.

PLATEAU is a project to develop and maintain 3D city models across Japan and convert them into open data. The purpose of the project is to not only create the 3D models, but to develop use cases, and promote their use, thereby moving toward overall system optimization, high civilian participation, and more effective urban planning.

A.L.I. will collaborate with Kaga City of Ishikawa Prefecture, one of the 50 cities targeted for the construction of a 3D city model, to conduct flight simulations of logistics drones using the 3D city model. At the same time, the company will verify the possibility of updating the 3D model using the photos taken on the logistics drone simulation.

Experiment in Kaga City

■Experiment Outline
【Date】1~4 March 2021
【Location】Ishikawa Pref., Kaga City, Katayamazu Spa
Using the current 3D models, improve efficiency of drone operations through simulations, and verify the possibility of updating the current model.

1.Use of 3D models: The model is connected to A.L.I.’s UAV control system C.O.S.M.O.S.*1, and will be used to simulate 3D air routes in advance using an automatic air route visualization function in accordance with the Civil Aeronautics Law, and the operational efficiency and cost reduction is verified.

2. Maintenance of 3D models: Photogrammetry is done using photos taken by logistics UAV, and the results are inspected to see if they can be used to update the model.

Before the update

After the update

■Experiment results and Future Prospects
For this experiment, A.L.I. developed a new simulator that can handle routes using data encoded in the CityGML format *2, which is the current international standard format. Additionally, the company has expanded C.O.S.M.O.S. to be able to read CityGML data.

CityGML differs from general map data in that it includes information on the height of buildings, making it extremely useful for setting and simulating drone flight routes.

※Simulation images using CityGML model of Tokyo Station area.

If the route generated by the simulation can be incorporated into COSMOS, then the company will know that the same route can be flown, which will reduce man-hours required to physically check the route in advance and repetitively setting flight routes, resulting in reduction of cost.

The logistics drone and the corresponding surveying data will not be as accurate as the CityGML data, the company was able to demonstrate that it is enough to improve the frequency of the updates.

A.L.I. will continue to work towards the social implementation of drones and the utilization of lower airspace, aiming to establish safe and sustainable operation methods.

*1: C.O.S.M.O.S. is a traffic management platform that enables swarm control and air traffic control of UAVs; a technology that enables more reliable planning, monitoring, and management of the health of the aircraft, operational certainty, and the safety of the surrounding area and operators, which are the principles of automated UAV operations.
Reference release:


■Project“PLATEAU” Website (Japanese only):
■MLIT Press release (Japanese only):

<Overview of A.L.I.>
A.L.I. is a drone technology and AI business that develops business solutions for a wide range of industries. Such solutions include AI equipped drones, a computing power sharing service that boasts an autonomous distributed processing system, and the world’s first practical hoverbike.
A.L.I. will continue to innovate by developing products that creatively utilize technologies such as drone, blockchain, and AI.
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