The city of L’Assomption should have less salty streets by the end of this year. The whole salt spreading process will be orchestrated by an artificial intelligence system that will dictate the dose to be spread, at the right time and in the right place.
“It’s a bit like our magic recipe,” says Anne Carabin, one of the three founders of the Clean Nature company, whose main mandate is to manage the spreading of salt in a reasoned and efficient manner. Instead of always spreading the same quantity everywhere, the acquisition of precise data makes it possible to adapt the dosage.
Clean Nature has just announced that it will be carrying out its pilot project at L’Assomption. The first phase of evaluation is underway and from the beginning of next winter, the group will test its method in the streets.
At that time, the trucks will be equipped with sensors that will measure in real time the precise conditions of the roads with their surface temperature. A difference of a few degrees on the pavement is sufficient to adjust the dose. To this, we will couple the meteorological data.
“We hope to do a specific optimization for the streets and manage to do a more local spreading”, specifies Anne Carabin. The aim is to reduce salt at source and in doing so save up to 50% in salt usage costs.
Clean Nature was founded in 2019 by three water science graduates.
“We knew that this was an emerging issue and that there was work to be done,” explains Anne Carabin. We know that this will cause problems in the future, we can already see it with the erosion of bridges and the increase in salt in rivers and lakes. »
It was the AquaAction organization that linked the Clean Nature project and the City of L’Assomption.
“It was a perfect match,” says Melissa Dick, program manager at AquaAction, as the municipality seeks innovative environmental policy solutions.
During the validation test period, the team obviously wants to assess the minimum quantity taking into account road safety issues, by measuring grip, according to dosages and climatic conditions.
Once the effectiveness has been established, L’Assomption will be able to evaluate the experience and the results can be applied to other municipalities, ideally.
“We want to make sure it doesn’t just stay at L’Assomption and that we can share the lessons we’ve learned,” says Melissa Dick.