Moscow clears record snowfall with IoT-enabled snowploughs

13th February 2018 Jonathan Andrews

New technology installed in Moscow‘s street sweepers, snowploughs, waste trucks and water carts enabled it to clear a record 1.2 million cubic tonnes of snow which fell on the city in early February.

Over 22,000 of Moscow’s communal vehicles have been installed with a unified IoT platform allowing city officials to track routes, control speed, fuel consumption and operation mode of the vehicles. Artificial intelligence generates a daily scope of work for each vehicle based on the weather forecast. The new technology has also reduced fuel consumption, saving the city US$162,000 a month.

“All communal vehicles had been previously controlled by various vendors and institutional bodies,” Andrey Belozerov, Strategy and Innovations Advisor to CIO of Moscow, told Cities Today. “We didn’t have a unified database to analyse this sort of information, unlike now, when every vehicle is integrated into one network controlled from a single centre.”

The system–designed and implemented in cooperation between the Department of Information Technologies of Moscow and Russian telecommunications company, Rostelecom–automatically indicates the period of work and calculates the most optimal route selected from the database of route patterns. The GLONASS system, Russia’s GPS, can identify the precise location of a vehicle and thus plan the route for it in the most efficient way, while special fuel sensors contribute to reducing fuel consumption.

Belozerov said that when a month’s worth of snow fell on Moscow in just the first weekend in February it made for a “real crash-test” for the new IoT platform.

“This record-breaking snowfall would previously have been a nightmare for the city communal services,” he said. “It would have caused total chaos in any world megapolis. However, thanks to the coordinated efforts of Moscow communal services and the new unified IoT platform, Moscow could repel the power of nature.”

Over 15,500 of equipment units were involved in removing 1.2 million cubic metres of snow. Despite extreme weather conditions, no public transport breakdowns were recorded.

The IoT platform provides access to the data according to the position and level of the requesting official. The mayor and the executives of the Department of Housing and Communal Services and Improvement of Moscow have full access to the database but is limited for municipal authorities and services’ providers.

While waste collection trucks are not part of the platform–being under the control of private vendors–Belozerov did say that the companies the city works with are currently installing bin sensors in their waste collection trucks.

“They are going the same way as us,” he added. “Moscow authorities are always ready to exchange experience and provide our expertise to private business and companies and thus developing win-win cooperation.”

Artificial Intelligence calculates a daily scope of work for each vehicle, the period of work and plans the most efficient route

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