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East Renfrewshire Council begins smart gritting trial


East Renfrewshire Council has become one of the first in Scotland to deploy a ‘smart gritting’ system using internet of things (IoT) technology.

It has begun a trial in which it has installed sensors on the outskirts of Barrhead – an area prone to low surface temperatures – to measure the temperature of the road.

These produce data that can be viewed by the council, along with existing sources of weather data, to target resources in areas most in need.

The data will also be added to a mapping programme to roads most impacted by ice and frost, and will feed into a predictive model which the council use in its effort to improve road safety and minimise travel disruption.

The trial is being supported by CENSIS, Scotland’s innovation centre for sensing and imaging systems (SIS) and IoT technologies, with technical expertise, sensor selection, and the development of IoT infrastructure.

It came about in part as a result of a workshop held by CENSIS and the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government in the Lighthouse, Glasgow last year.

Safety priority

Councillor Alan Lafferty, environment convenor at East Renfrewshire Council, said: “The safety of road users and pedestrians is a high priority for East Renfrewshire Council and I am delighted to see this pilot get underway, helping us to further safeguard road users from the cold conditions we experience throughout the winter months.

“The information gathered from the sensors will support the existing data we receive through the West of Scotland Local Authority Weather Partnership. I look forward to working with CENSIS and seeing the pilot develop.”

Image from CENSIS

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