Cities across the country are grappling with the problem of deteriorating roads. When left unaddressed, potholes, cracks in the road and crumbling sidewalks can lead to costly repairs, damage to vehicles and potentially serious accidents.
What if there was a way to detect these problems before they become major issues? A key part of the solution is hiding in plain sight: the humble garbage truck.
The role of waste and recycling trucks in road repair
Waste and recycling trucks may seem like an unlikely solution to the problem of road damage, but of all heavy-duty city fleet vehicles, they are uniquely positioned to help. They are among the only vehicles in a city that routinely travel every city street once or more a week. By equipping them with AI-powered cameras and sensors, they can visually detect and document potholes, cracks in the road, crumbling sidewalks and other types of hazards while they travel their regular routes.
This technology offers multiple advantages over other methods of detecting road damage. Instead of relying on drivers to manually record issues on paper or residents to report potholes to 311, AI-powered cameras can detect potholes before they cause major problems. Additionally, data can be sent back to headquarters automatically and in real time.
Collecting and analyzing data
Data collected by waste and recycling trucks can be analyzed to identify and prioritize road repair needs. This data can help city officials make more informed decisions about which repairs to prioritize and allocate resources more effectively. For example, if a particular street has multiple potholes and cracks in the pavement, a city can give that street a higher priority for repairs.
Efficiently allocating resources is invaluable, particularly for cities and local governments entrusted with spending taxpayer dollars.
Many cities have successfully implemented this technology. For example, Kansas City, Missouri has been using RUBICONSmartCity™ technology to detect and repair road damage since 2019.
By using data collected by the City’s fleet of waste and recycling trucks to prioritize road repairs, Kansas City has been able to make better-informed decisions and allocate resources more effectively. The City has reported significant savings in both time and money since implementing the technology.
AI-powered smart city technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way cities approach road repair. By equipping heavy-duty fleet vehicles such as waste and recycling trucks with cameras and sensors, cities can continuously monitor their streets to anticipate and address issues before they worsen and become costly repairs or safety hazards.
RUBICONSmartCity is the smartest way for cities, counties and other municipalities to manage heavy-duty fleets. It is a proprietary, cloud-based technology suite that helps local governments run faster, smarter and more effective waste, recycling and heavy-duty municipal fleet operations. Local governments today are required to do more with less. RUBICONSmartCity helps existing government-owned fleets improve neighborhood streetscapes by monitoring vehicle health, improving driver behavior and ensuring that materials are collected efficiently. The results: fewer vehicle accidents, less road wear and safer communities.