Amey Consulting has analysed Kent’s historical road surface temperature sensor data to better predict what roads will need gritting when.
Amey says that it has developed artificial intelligence models tan can now predict road surface temperatures within 1ºC, 24 hours in advance, to 90% accuracy. This enabled the company to work with Kent County Council to reschedule its nightly gritting operations, .
It is anticipated that the programme will improve gritting efficiency by 18%, equating to a cost saving of £109,000 per year for the council.
Amey has also created a digital model of Kent’s gritting route network, which has been used to simulate and optimise the locations and movements of its gritter fleet. This has been adapted so that Kent County Council winter services team can try alternative scenarios, for example, varying the salt spread rate, or excluding certain routes to suit different weather severities, automatically uploading the updated routes to the gritters’ navigation systems.
Amey account director Nicola Blake said: “Officially, the winter period for our teams starts in the middle of October. Having worked with Kent County Council and our in-house consultancy team, Amey Consulting, we have new data that will help our teams to continue to effectively and efficiently deliver our gritting programme this year.”
Kent councillor David Brazier, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “It is exciting to see the evolution of ground-breaking technology and the data we can use to make sure we are able to keep Kent moving in adverse weather. We know winter is a critical time for our teams and with this additional information we will prioritise salting the right routes at the right times, putting KCC at the forefront of smart winter services.”