- The aim of the project is the protection of endangered species in four European countries, including Greece.
- Innovative technological solution from the OTE Group’s Research & Development (R&D) department to protect biodiversity.
The LIFE SAFE-CROSSING
European environmental project – which COSMOTE is participating with advanced technological solutions and infrastructure – is creating a protective shield for the brown bear and other wildlife species in north-western Greece.
The project, which is being implemented in Greece, Italy, Spain and Romania, is aimed at reducing the environmental impact of road infrastructure on protected species – such as the brown bear, wolf and Iberian lynx – and using innovative technologies and best practices to prevent collisions (“Animal-Vehicle Collisions” prevention system, virtual fence, neuroscience applications), reduce the risk of accidents, increase driver attention and facilitate the movements of animals, contributing to the protection of biodiversity.
In the context of its participation in LIFE SAFE-CROSSING, COSMOTE has developed an integrated solution for monitoring and automatic processing of a large volume of data concerning wildlife traffic at 45 crossings along 55 kilometers of the Egnatia Motorway. Effective monitoring and registering of animal movements enables the appropriate interventions to be made at the crossings (e.g., reinforcement of fencing, removal of natural obstacles) to facilitate the passage of animals and protect their activities.
The COSMOTE solution includes low-consumption wireless (4G) cameras (powered by solar panels), cloud infrastructure for storing data (photographs, video, statistics) and tools for automated, unmanned:
- recognition and categorization of wildlife and sending of alerts, using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Deep Learning technologies,
- creation of animal-crossing statistics,
- visualisation of crossings (on a map), photographs and statistics.
The advantages of the technological solution developed by the OTE Group’s R&D department include low cost, ease of installation, potential for use of additional applications (e.g., physical security), automation of labor-intensive and time-consuming procedures, and a drastic reduction in on-site visits to monitoring locations, resulting in major environmental and financial benefits.
It is estimated that, in the areas covered by the intervention, the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING solutions will achieve a 30% reduction in vehicle speeds and a 50% reduction in fatalities of the protected animals in the four countries.
In Greece, the LIFE SAFE-CROSSING project is being implemented by the Region of Western Macedonia, the Callisto Environmental Organization, EGNATIA MOTORWAY and COSMOTE. The project is being coordinated by the Italian consulting firm AGRISTUDIO, with co-funding from the European Union’s LIFE programme.
Protection of the environment and biodiversity, as well as responding to climate change, is part of the OTE Group’s sustainable development strategy and essential to a better world for all.