China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group will start a project in the second half this year to help clean up ocean trash with its AI satellites.
The leading private car group, which owns Swedish car brand Volvo and has a stake in Germany’s Daimler, announced the plan on Thursday, which marked Earth Day in Hangzhou China.
The project, called the Blue Guardian, will use high-level remote sensing AI satellites developed and designed by the carmaker’s aerospace arm, GeeSpace.
The satellites will help locate and identify marine waste including plastic buildup and floating garbage, oil spills, and even areas where an imbalance in the ecosystem has resulted in unnatural overgrowths of sea algae and moss.
Geely said the data will be accessible to companies, organizations and individuals to help them clean up sensitive environmental areas and protect marine life.
The group started to make inroads into the satellite industry in 2018. It is developing satellites to provide a range of mobility services including internet of vehicles and autonomous driving functions, such as vehicle-to-everything communications.
But the Blue Guardian project will use purpose-built satellites that differ from those used in mobility services operations.
The carmaker said the Blue Guardian project will be a long term effort.
It will first focus on the seas, but in the future will cover other difficult-to-reach areas, with an increasingly-advanced range of different technologies and devices, said Geely.