Ontario plots improved Winter Weather management

  • June 10, 2020
  • imc

Canadian technology firm IBI and Weather Telematics are developing a new system to improve winter road management in Ontario. The two companies are developing the Winter Ice and Snow Decision Support System for Operations Management (WISDOM). The new system is a resource management and decision support tool to support improved management of winter road conditions.

The companies have partnered with two Ontario counties to pilot the platform over the winter of 2020/21. The collaboration has been brought together by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).

Winter Telematics is a subsidiary of Internet of Things Inc, an AI and IIoT software firm.

Winter road maintenance accounts for a large portion of Canadian cities’ operating expenses. With rapid population growth and more frequent extreme weather events, costs of snow clearing are projected to increase further each year. This is prompting city governments to analyse means to improve winter maintenance efficiency.

The WISDOM platform consists of three interactive components.  A real-time traffic and AI-predicted road conditions component uses traffic information to route snow ploughs to designated areas efficiently, while predicted road conditions allow for more informed resource deployment in response to upcoming weather events.

Another component automates the selection of procedures and dynamically routes appropriate vehicles to assist dispatchers.

The final component deploys sensors on select vehicles to obtain ground-truth road condition data. This data feeds into the previous two components, improving prediction accuracy and adjusting responses based on corrected outputs.

Together, these components create a feedback loop that achieves improved dispatching of winter operation units and reduces excessive use of salt and de-icing materials.

“Surprisingly, most governments rely on basic solutions to manage their winter maintenance and cleaning processes,” said Michael Lende, President and CEO of the Internet of Things Inc. “WISDOM has the potential of dramatically improving the ability to manage government resources, significantly lower costs and improve driver safety.”

“This project is exactly the type of partnership we are seeking to foster through our Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) WinterTech Development Program,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Ontario is home to some of the brightest and most innovative people and businesses in the world and AVIN helps weave these talents together to propel pioneering technologies that will make our roads safer and our economy stronger.”

“We believe the platform holds great promise in its ability to help governments better manage their winter snow/ice road clearing operations, and to lower their use of salt products without negatively impacting vehicle and pedestrian safety,” said Derek Sims, IBI Group’s Global Director of Intelligence.