Sensitive trucks

Cities are sticking sensors everywhere — garbage trucks, snow plows, waste and recycling bins. The data these devices collect used more often to inform the public, like snow-plow tracking maps that many cities published during winter storms.. But this data, when paired with other sources, like social media, can also be used to optimize routes and make predictions about future capacity. Akron, Ohio, outfitted its trash trucks with radios that take energy grid readings. Researchers there said the city was in one case able to predict an outage and prevent nearly 300,000 customers from losing power. “Smart” and AI-powered trash cans, too, which help agencies plan pick-up schedules and predict need, have become a common fixture in major cities, including New York and Los Angeles, and on college campuses like MIT.

Colin Wood

Written by Colin Wood

Colin Wood is the editor in chief of StateScoop and EdScoop. He's reported on government information technology policy for more than a decade, on topics including cybersecurity, IT governance and public safety.

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