Companies Developing System to Better Detect Ontario Winter Road Conditions


Global design and technology firm, IBI Group and Weather Telematics Inc. are collaborating to develop the Winter Ice and Snow Decision Support System for Operations Management (“WISDOM”) platform – a resource management and decision support tool to assist in the effective and timely response to winter road conditions.

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

Winter road maintenance accounts for a large portion of Canadian cities’ operating expenses. In 2018 alone, governments across North America spent upwards of $2 billion on winter operations. With rapid population growth and more frequent extreme weather events, costs of snow clearing are projected to increase further each year, prompting governments to analyze means to improve winter maintenance efficiency.

“We are extremely excited to be collaborating with IBI Group on the WISDOM platform,” said Michael Lende, President and CEO of the Internet of Things Inc. “Surprisingly, most governments rely on basic solutions to manage their winter maintenance and cleaning processes. 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.”

“IBI Group is an industry leader in developing and managing smart city solutions. We are excited to be partnering with Weather Telematics — a global leader in weather risk — to develop the WISDOM platform. 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.

The WISDOM platform consists of three interactive components:

  1. Real-time traffic and AI-predicted road conditions. Traffic information is used to route snowplows to designated areas efficiently, while predicted road conditions allow for more informed resource deployment in response to upcoming weather events.
  2. Automation of the selection of procedures and dynamic routing of appropriate vehicles to assist dispatchers.
  3. Deployment of sensors on select vehicles to obtain ground-truth road condition data that feeds into the previous two components, bettering prediction accuracy and adjusting responses based on corrected outputs.

Together, these components create a feedback loop that achieves precise dispatching of winter operation units and reduces excessive use of salt and de-icing materials. Moreover, efficient ice and snow removal will support Vision Zero and mitigate traffic congestions through improved response time, providing a higher level of service to residents across the pilot area.

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