Each year, municipalities must prepare for the winter season, which includes structuring their snow removal operations. This is a daunting challenge: inefficient management during severe storms can mean complete paralysis of a sector or even endangering citizens. How, then, can they respond optimally to this reality?
For municipalities that do not have sophisticated road management systems, allocating resources precisely during a snow removal operation is no easy feat.
On the one hand, it is very complex, if not impossible, to get an overview of the situation in real time; the exact position of the workers, the road segments that have been cleaned up and the progress of the operation are unknown. It is therefore more difficult to react in an agile way to unforeseen events, for example to a broken down truck assigned to a busy sector or to a traffic jam due to an overwhelming snow accumulation.
On the other hand, there is no practical way to analyze the performance of two separate operations, let alone between two separate years. This is problematic in the event where corrections need to be made at the operational level, but also for the evaluation and justification of new investments for the improvement of the fleet. This is also the case for residents’ complaints: no trace exists to prove that a passage was made or to correct the situation in case of frequent oversights.
Finally, there is no simple way to share information with other services (such as emergency services) or with citizens. They therefore have very limited information to prepare their movements in the city.
To address this issue, Mapgears has developed a real-time management solution for snow removal operations. Combining web mapping, geospatial intelligence and the Internet of Things, this solution allows you to track the operation’s progress in real time, share information in a few clicks and use powerful analytical tools.
Here, we can see the real-time status of the roads for the entire municipality. Powered by GPS devices linked to the engine and controls of the vehicules, the platform illustrates their position on an interactive map of the city. The status of roads and sidewalks is automatically updated following the passage of the snowplows according to certain parameters, such as the activation of the shovel or the sand dispenser. We thus obtain a global overview of the real state of the city, making it easier to supervise operations.
Here you can see the vehicle moving with the shovel lowered, as well as its last crossing on Franklin Street. Also, this map can easily be placed on the city’s website and modified to show only the desired information to the citizens (for example, by broadcasting only the state of the roads without the location of vehicules). You could also outline prohibited parking areas during operations, minimizing obstructions of machinery by civilian vehicles.
The platform is designed to be able to interact with external systems, allowing, for example, to link it to emergency services tools for better inter-services cooperation.
Another interesting point: this tool also has a “time machine” to recreate and analyze the progress of past work, minute by minute. It is therefore easier to optimize future operations, to detect certain problems or to see if and when a certain segment of road has been cleaned in the event of a civilian complaint. Added to this are dashboard and reporting capabilities, which automatically generate data from operations.
The main benefit will be the ease of monitoring of the snow removal operations, ultimately resulting in increased efficiency. Since asset and work tracking is done automatically, the coordinator is able to focus on resource redirection in an agile way in the event of unforeseen events, as well as improving efficiency. It is also a welcome tool for handling complaints, allowing you to respond more effectively to claims of lacking snow removal services in specific areas.
Another important benefit is that citizens can be better informed about the state of the roads through an intuitive and user-friendly web solution. They will therefore be able to take the best route to their destination, increasing their satisfaction with services and their safety. In the event of a major storm, they will be in a better position to assess the risk of taking the road.
Performance analysis will be facilitated with automated reports and dashboards showing, for example, the duration of an operation, the distance traveled per vehicle, etc. In addition, they are useful tools for assessing needs in terms of the quantity of vehicles required to cover the whole city in an efficient manner.
A big challenge?
Organizing and supervising snow removal operations will always be a challenge that cities will have to face. At Mapgears, however, we believe that we can support small and large communities to overcome it more easily with technological solutions tailored to their needs.
To learn more about our platform, visit us at https://www.evouala.com/
If you wish to see how this solution can fit into your management processes, contact our team at 1-888-696-5056 # 301 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.