IoT provides 'grit expectations' for East Renfrewshire

Sensors provide additional data to our roads team


Published 21 December 2020

We have become one of the first local authorities in Scotland to use Internet of Things (IoT) technology to deploy a 'smart gritting' system, supporting the existing weather data used when deploying gritters and further improving safety for road users.

Robust, low-cost sensors have been installed on roads on the outskirts of Barrhead - an area prone to low surface temperatures - to measure the temperature of the road. That data can then be viewed by our team using an IoT network, and used along with weather data already in place to target resources in areas most in need. Already, the sensors have been used over and above our specialist weather forecast information to better inform and change gritting priorities in real-time to improve public safety.

The initial trial will be 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.

Data will be added to a mapping programme that will identify the roads most impacted by ice and frost. It will also inform a predictive model that will improve road safety and minimise travel disruption.

Environment Convener, Councillor Alan Lafferty, 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.'

The project 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. The 'Futuretech' event brought together academics, local authorities and others to discuss how best to design IoT into public services.

Last modified on 15 January 2021