In April, 2017, Hathority, LLC was named Grand Champion of the Cisco IoT Grand Challenge to develop solutions for the City of Phoenix, AZ, USA Public Works Department and the handling of solid waste and recycling. In winning, Hathority received a cash prize and the opportunity to pilot their solution. The City, Cisco and the Arizona Institute for Digital Progress partnered together for that first Smart City event in 2017. The goal for the challenge was to solve challenges faced within Phoenix, Arizona, and other similar cities. While challenge participants were given a choice of three pressing problems to solve, Hathority’s solution responded to all three. The results of that pilot demonstrate how IoT can be used to make cities smarter, and services more effective and efficient.
The business case for Hathority’s solution to the Cisco IoT Challenge is clearer in the context of these problem statements:
1. City residents throw away recyclable material, instead of placing the material in the blue recycle bin or diverting the green waste. Ideal Solution: Change behavior of how residents recycle and divert material from the landfill. Educate neighborhoods with lowest recycling participation and highest contamination rate.
2. High operational costs are mostly attributed to rework for missed container collection. Containers are often not available for service. Either the resident forgot to place the container out at the appropriate time or the container placement prevented the container from being serviced. Ideal Solution: Reduce the number of residents who call in regarding a container that was missed during their collection day. Allow residents to see the location of their collection vehicle real time in order to ensure they put their container to the curb in time.
3. Children are drawn to the large trucks collecting garbage and recycling at their home and are engaged about the purpose the trucks serve. Parents don’t always have the same engagement or behavior in diversion of the waste stream from the landfill. Ideal Solution: Turn collection trucks into a gamification concept that engages children and parents together to learn about waste diversion through the daily actions of their driver. For example, a Pac-Man game of containers being eaten as they are collected and special points for collecting material that can be diverted. This could also serve as an educational tool by answering questions about recycling.
Hathority’s solution integrates technology that the City has already invested in to connect customers with the Public Works Department. Hathority built a platform for this integration that uses IoT (truck sensor and other data) to help customers know, for example, when (through text and email notifications) and how (through images, text and video) to place their bins, gamifies and incentivizes learning about trucks, refuse and recycling, helps supervisors better manage routes and routing, and helps drivers with route information. Further, the solution anticipates additional sensors and sensor data and is designed to scale and accommodate these as they become available. The service model scales because Phoenix is but one of over 30k+ municipalities in the US alone with refuse and recycling problems, and the technologies these municipalities use is the same or similar to those used in Phoenix.
Hathority also proposed three different applications that connect people through the platform via smartphone, tablet and/or desktop:
1. A customer facing app that provides the customer with real-time truck location information, informational/educational material and games,
2. A driver app for route and routing information,
3. A supervisor app for managing routes, monitoring other truck sensor data, and communicating with drivers.