Montgomery honored as one of 50 most innovative cities globally

Montgomery Is Being Honored As One Of The 50 Most Innovative Cities In The World! Photo Via City Of Montgomery.
Montgomery is being honored as one of the 50 most innovative cities in the world! Photo via City of Montgomery.

Montgomery is being honored as one of the most innovative cities in the world. The city won a place in the 2021 Smart 50 Awards, which honors the most influential smart cities projects globally. Keep reading to learn more about the exciting project.

Paving the way for innovation

The Roadbotics Inspection Vehicle Hits Montgomery'S Roads! Photo Courtesy Of City Of Montgomery.
The Roadbotics inspection vehicle hits Montgomery’s roads! Photo courtesy of City of Montgomery.

Montgomery is revolutionizing the way it repairs roads. RoadBotics, Inc. and the City of Montgomery partnered up to use AI technology in road paving assessments. They launched the program throughout the city in 2019. The following year, the city assessed 40% of their 1,100 mile road network in record time… while in a worldwide pandemic! 

“We’re using artificial intelligence and machine learning logarithms to make smarter, data-based decisions on our paving plans. We’re getting a more comprehensive analysis of every structure need at a fraction of the time and cost.”

Montgomery’s Mayor Steven Reed

How does it work?

Gif Of Roadbotics Scan
The Roadbotics app scans Montgomery’s roads for surface distresses. Media courtesy of City of Montgomery.

Montgomery’s new road inspection program is rooted in Artificial Intelligence, or AI. The city dispatches technicians who collect images throughout the city using a proprietary smartphone application. Machine-learning algorithms process the images by scanning them pixel-by-pixel. The program looks for surface distresses and automatically generates a surface condition rating. 

After assessing each road individually, a final assessment is generated. The program creates an online GIS platform that Montgomery officials use to analyze the data. 

Mayor Reed says the new program more accurately pinpoints which roads in Montgomery need repairs.

“This takes the human error out of it. This new program uses AI to pinpoint problems that are undetectable to even the best engineers. This keeps us from having a defect that will snowball into a potential larger issue.”

Mayor Steven Reed
The Roadbotics Program Uses A Unique App To Analyze Roads In Real Time. Photo Courtesy Of City Of Montgomery.
The Roadbotics program uses a unique app to analyze roads in real time. Photo courtesy of City of Montgomery.

Before using AI, the City of Montgomery evaluated its 1,100-mile road network using a team of four independent field inspectors and two GIS technicians over a 6- to 8-month period. The process was time-consuming and relied heavily on individual assessments.

Mayor Reed thinks that city governments need to prioritize efficiency.

“Residents today have to be treated like customers, and we want to make sure their experience with the city of Montgomery in all facets is positive. We all have to embrace innovation and technology. It’s not just the private sector that needs technology.”

Mayor Steven Reed

More than anything, the city of Montgomery is proud of this honor.

“I’m happy for our teams–our city planning team, our public works team. I’m happy for all the men and women who do such a great job every day.”

Mayor Steven Reed

Montgomery’s Smart 50 Award is an example of how innovation can lead to national recognition. In the future, Montgomery plans to incorporate technology and AI into other city departments.

What do you think of this new project? Tag @thebamabuzz and let us know!

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Libby Foster
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