FAQs

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General
  • What is VODA.ai?

    VODA.ai is a company that uses artificial intelligence to virtually assess the condition and risk of each pipe segment in a water system.

  • How does VODA.ai work?

    VODA.ai works in three steps:

    1. Data is retrieved from the utility’s GIS, public sources, and is combined with proprietary data.
    2. Utility data is cleaned and normalized.
    3. VODA.ai’s super-engine, daVinci ML, gets to work. Using multiple algorithms, daVinci ML is able to quickly conduct billions of calculations, learn from the patterns that led to previous breaks and use those learnings to assign a Likelihood of Failure score on each pipe segment.

    When the Consequence of Failure (CoF) is added, a Business Risk Exposure (BRE) score is quickly calculated and provided on the User Interface or on the integrated system, like ESRI.

  • What problem does VODA.ai solve?

    Managers and engineers want to create effective operating and capital planning programs to lower their non-revenue water, improve customer satisfaction, and keep their workers safe – while staying within their budget.

    Yet up to 70% of water is lost due to pipe failures, customer service is disrupted with each break, emergency crews are often called in during night hours, and pipes that are replaced often have over 5 years of remaining life left – incurring costs that could have been used elsewhere.  

  • What other sources of data does VODA.ai use?

    VODA.ai uses utility data, public data, and proprietary interaction variables. With network effects – the more data VODA.ai’s daVinci ML ingests, the smarter daVinci ML becomes and the better the results are for utilities.

  • How is VODA.ai different?

    VODA.ai stands out in two areas:

    1. Customer service: VODA.ai’s CEO believes the customer is always right. Period. That’s why he is usually the first to meet a customer and all customers have his mobile number.
    2. Short term predictions: VODA.ai is the pioneer in short term virtual condition assessments and the best at it.
Process & Pricing
  • What can I expect when partnering with VODA.ai?

    The kick-off meeting always takes place in person (temporarily virtual due to COVID-19). You’ll be assigned a project manager and will always have access to the CEO, George.

    After receiving your data, we’ll process it, ask you questions to ensure that the data is clean, and complete the analysis.

    We’ll present the results to your team and go live with the system. Once a quarter, we’ll refresh your data so you have the latest assessment of your system.

  • What if we don’t have good data?

    Many utilities don’t have clean data and we’ve adapted to it. Our data scientists and engineers have created methods to handle data that needs extra love. As long as you have at least 3 years worth of pipe failures and are willing to work with us to clean your data, VODA.ai’s daVinci ML will make it work and you’ll be happy.

  • What happens to our data?

    You always own your data and we’ll never share your data. VODA.ai’s daVinci ML learns from all the data it ingests but never actually uses your unique data set for anything other than to assess your system. You can choose to opt-out of helping daVinci ML learn from your data.

  • How do I know VODA.ai works?

    When you give us your data, you can withhold your last year’s breaks. We’ll predict these breaks as if they didn’t happen yet and show you the results. You’ll see that our prioritization method is more accurate than anything else out there.

  • How much does VODA.ai cost?

    Pricing depends on the market, utility size, and length of the contract. We work directly with each utility to ensure we are developing a customized price that is both competitive and matched to the specific needs of the customer.

  • Can I repeat VODA.ai’s analysis every couple of years?

    You are open to partner with VODA.ai as frequently or infrequently as you like. The benefit of having an ongoing subscription is always having a recent view of your network’s health, which could be different than just a few months ago.

AI & ML
  • What is artificial intelligence?

    Artificial intelligence, or AI, is the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.

  • Why do we need artificial intelligence?

    Artificial intelligence finds patterns and provides insights faster and more accurately than humans to help make informed decisions. AI helps computers use human reasoning as a model for learning and adapting to better meet our customer’s needs.

  • What is machine learning?

    Machine learning, or ML, is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed.

  • What benefits can the water industry see with artificial intelligence?

    Here are some of the benefits water utilities realize when partnering with VODA.ai:

    • Reducing leaks/breaks (catastrophic and non)
    • Reducing NRW
    • Improving plans for DMAs
    • Improving plans for pipe replacements
    • Improving plans for placing leak detection sensors
    • Improving plans for placing pressure sensors
    • Improving plans for maintaining valves
    • Improving customer service. How? By lowering the number of outages.
    • Saving money. Lots of it.
    • Improving the safety of personnel. How? Emergency breaks will be reduced.
    • Lowering the number of lawsuits that result from large or catastrophic breaks
    • Improving their brand. How? By minimizing negative media coverage.
  • How does VODA.ai apply artificial intelligence to the water industry?

    VODA.ai’s software assesses the condition of every pipe segment with daVinci ML, our AI super-engine. VODA.ai uses a three-step process:

    1. Combines utility data on pipes (e.g.: installation year, material, size, location, and break history) with public data (weather, soil, land use, satellite imagery, and infrared scans, etc.), and with proprietary interaction variables.
    2. Utility data is cleaned and normalized. Using proprietary automation, data quality and completeness is assessed and enhanced. This data audit enhances many digital applications used by GIS and engineers at utilities, an added benefit derived from daVinci ML.
    3. daVinci ML uses over 100 algorithms to find patterns and insights from previous breaks and assigns a Likelihood of Failure score for each pipe segment. Model accuracy improves with additional data and time.
  • What is the difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning?

    Machine learning (ML), is a subset practice of artificial intelligence (AI). AI is the overall concept of computers operating in an intelligent manner – meaning they do not just follow pre-programmed explicit instructions. ML is how these computers can actually learn, based on the unique environments and data they are analyzing, to continuously make solutions better.

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