The government is a key stakeholder when it comes to maintaining our roads. Government employees monitor the state of the road, inspect the underground and make a planning for road maintenance. Since January, Aime participates in the Startup in Residence program by the Province of Overijssel to answer an important question: how can road maintenance be made smarter?

Photographer: Markus Spiske, Pexels License.

Over the last few weeks, the province has shared much knowledge and many insights and has given us clear insight into monitoring and maintaining provincial raods. For this, employees at the province use data sets that are collected throughout the province. Those provide insight into the state of the roads in Overijssel. From the insights, it becomes clear that employees work hard on optimizing the planning, but that government employees recognize that it can still be made smarter.

Supporting the human behind the machine

Based on those observations, Aime has created a vision for employing Artificial Intelligence in planning road maintenance. The entry point for our vision is that human brains prefer creative tasks, in this case controlling the road maintenance planning and combining various insights in a smart way. Gathering individual insights is however a pressing matter. Since this involves studying hundreds to thousands individual data points, this is where we see the added value for an automated AI system.

By consequence, Aime works on a smart solution which allows the employees of the province over Overijssel to synthesize and analyze the various data streams together. The system recognizes potential defects in the road and in the underground. Additionally, government employees are asked to judge situations about which the system is not entirely cetrain. This way, it learns from the experts available throughout the provincial organization. Those insights can subsequently be combined into a smart road maintenance planning which serves as input for the planning process.

Photographer: Aleksejs Bergmanis, Pexels License.

This way, a learning cycle emerges which can be a win-win situation to the government employees, who are supported in a better way in making a road maintenance planning.

Collaboration between province and partners

Thanks to the open policy shown by the province of Overijssel within the Startup in Residence program, in which the province explicitly looks for partnerships, Aime has been able to develop a network of parties which are interested to co-evolve our technology. Recently, for example, Aime was asked to give a lecture on predictive road maintenance at the Festival van de Toekomst in The Hague. Other government servants responded positively to our vision. Additionally, proactive collaboration is sought with private parties who can deliver data flows. With some parties, we’re already meeting proactively.

Besides, there is a pleasant and constructive collaboration with the province of Overijssel itself. In a very short period Aime has been able to map the organization and her demands, data sets currently available and current ways of working. We are therefore looking forward towards implementing our vision!

In the coming weeks, we will therefore continue to evolve our vision, also technologically. We’ll set the first steps towards a working solution. Are you interested to discuss a possible collaboration? Please feel free to get in touch. We serve delicious coffee in Deventer!