ALCHERA X attended the launch of XPRIZE Wildfire, a 4-year global competition aimed to award $11 million in prize funding to teams that are able to develop and demonstrate fully autonomous capabilities to detect and extinguish wildfires.
The event took place in Washington, DC, during Earth Week 2023. Destructive wildfires have recently been recognized by the United Nations, the White House, and Congress as a major economic, environmental, and safety issue. Extreme wildfire events (EWEs), which account for over 80% of all fire-related damages worldwide and over $350 billion in damages annually in the United States alone, are becoming more severe around the world. EWEs spread more quickly, burn wider areas with greater intensity, devastate ecosystems, tax the global economy over the long term, and frequently cause terrible injuries and fatalities. Despite these huge monetary and environmental consequences, the best methods for fire management have remained primarily unchanged for almost a century.
“The amazing news for ALCHERA X is that we are an AI SaaS technology company that has been doing EXACTLY that for almost the past three years,” said Michael Plaksin, Vice President of Marketing, ALCHERA X. “Our FireScout technology can detect a plume of smoke in under a minute. This past year, we did that in over 200 of the 300 wildfires we detected. We give first responders the time, from 22 minutes to over 2 hours, to get to a fire while it’s still manageable and put it out. Our AI capabilities get faster and better every day. We have been saving properties and lives in the US, Korea, and Australia, so we are excited to enter the XPRIZE competition to help expand our technology and services worldwide.”
Teams from all over the world will be encouraged by XPRIZE Wildfire to develop innovations using a wide variety of technologies in two complimentary tracks that aim to revolutionize how wildfires are found, controlled, and suppressed. The competition will consist of the Space-Based Wildfire Detection & Intelligence and the Autonomous Wildfire Response tracks. Additionally, innovations in the accurate and precise detection of wildfires will be awarded the $1M Lockheed Martin Accurate Detection Intelligence Bonus Prize.
During the launching event, ALCHERA X was honored to meet U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, Karen O’Connor from Minderoo Foundation, Lieutenant Governor of California Eleni Kounalakis, and XPRIZE leaders Anousheh Ansari and Peter Diamandis.
“We have been fighting wildfires the same way for decades – it’s not working, and the destruction is getting increasingly worse. We need a radical re-invention of how we detect and battle these blazes,” said Peter Diamandis, Executive Chairman of the Board, XPRIZE. “The convergence of exponential technologies such as AI, robotics, drones, and sensors offer us the opportunity to detect wildfires at inception, and put them out in minutes before they spread – that’s the mission of this XPRIZE.”
About ALCHERA X
Founded in 2016, ALCHERA X is an artificial intelligence software as a service (SaaS) company that has developed award-winning proprietatry technology in the areas of wildfire detection and SMART VIEWING. FireScout, the leader in wildfire detection SaaS, utilizes AI to provide wildfire detection in real time on a 24/7/365 basis. FireScout seamlessly integrates into existing camera/monitor systems. We offer the most informative, effective, and supportive user interface system in the market today. FireScout is presently being used on over 1,000 cameras throughout the western United States and is considered to be the de facto standard in AI for disaster prevention in wildfire management.
XPRIZE is a global future-positive movement delivering truly radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. XPRIZE inspires and empowers a global community of problem-solvers to positively impact our world by crowdsourcing solutions through large-scale competitions, tackling the world’s grandest challenges in exploration, environment, and human equity.