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AI in the city:
A short field report

Damage caused to roads is not only annoying when driving a car or a bicycle, it is also potentially dangerous. Because potholes can cause bodywork damage or even accidents. In order to identify changes or cracks in and damage to roads, municipal staff in Cologne previously had to monitor the 2,800 kilometers of roads and document respective incidents.
With this in mind, AWB (Abfallwirtschaftsbetrieben Köln (waste management company Cologne) has teamed up with msg to develop a pilot project called “Smart Fleet” that aims to make Cologne more digital: AWB's fleet of garbage trucks and street cleaning vehicles drives around the streets every day anyway. The vehicles are equipped with cameras that record the route. The recordings are automatically sent to an AI-based app developed by msg. This app detects, localizes and reports possible road damage or clogged manhole covers fully automatically.

Further use cases are already being planned together with AWB. This is also a great opportunity for the city of Cologne to develop further smart solutions as part of its digitalization strategy, emphasizes Dirk Baluhut, the city's Digitalization Officer.