The new smart solution provides Helsingborg with better oversight of when streets need repairs.

The city has approximately 60 miles of roads that require regular maintenance. Usually, it takes about 45-48 weeks to inventory the street network. Thanks to development engineer Andreas Hall and his smart solution in collaboration with Univrses and NSR, the city can now inventory faster and more efficiently. It is now easier to find potholes, uncovered drains, and whether a road needs repair.

Staden tar hjälp av en smart lösning monterad på NSR:s sopbilar för att hålla koll på och inventera stadens gator.
The city uses a smart solution mounted on NSR’s garbage trucks to keep track of and inventory the city’s streets.

Traditionally conducting a comprehensive inventory is highly inefficient. It is easy to miss changes in the street network, and the data quickly becomes outdated. Additionally, traditional inventory methods are also costly to implement.

The city conducts its inventory using garbage trucks

Through collaboration with Univrses and NSR, the city now conducts continuous street inventory. The process used is to collect data through mobile phones placed on the front windshield of selected NSR’s garbage trucks. With this new technology, the city receives never older than two weeks data, and the street network is inventoried daily.

”We achieve a nearly comprehensive inventory of the city’s street network. There may be certain places where the garbage trucks do not drive, but they are inventoried in other ways. Currently, we have mobile phones on 7 garbage trucks,” says Andreas Hall, development engineer at the Urban Planning Department.

There are several advantages to the new method

In addition to being time-saving and cost-effective, the new method offers several advantages. It allows for targeted interventions based on specific needs and enables the city to analyse how the street network changes over time.

”The method works very well. The city benefits from reducing the cost of inventory from approximately 1.5-3 million to less than half. We receive a substantial amount of continuously updated data. This allows us to address issues earlier than we would have otherwise and address them directly. The goal is to offer the residents and stakeholders an even better city,” says Andreas Hall.

One example of the benefits is that the city can perform maintenance measures earlier before street damages become extensive. This makes the interventions easier and more cost-effective to implement. The method also enables data collection on aspects such as stormwater drains, obstructive vegetation on sidewalks and pedestrian paths, street cleaning, and misaligned signs. The collected data can also assist other operations, such as optimising routes for NSR’s garbage trucks or providing information to RSNV on areas with difficult access.
Utvecklingsingenjör Andréas Hall på stadsbyggnadsförvaltningen i Helsingborgs stad.
Development engineer Andréas Hall at the city planning administration in the city of Helsingborg.

This is how Andreas Hall came up with the solution behind smart street maintenance

“I met representatives from a company called Univrses during a visit to the Smart City World Expo in Barcelona in 2019. When I saw their demo, I immediately realised that this was something that we could greatly benefit from in Helsingborg. I had previously worked as a civil engineer specialising in roads in Helsingborg, specifically in asphalt paving. I understood that this was a system that we really needed. Univrses knew they had a great product but didn’t know how it could be used in municipal operations. That’s how the collaboration began,” says Andreas Hall.

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