Bordeaux: artificial intelligence at the service of the cleanliness of the city

To memorize all types of anti-Covid masks, it took three times fewer visuals. The easiest objects to detect, because standardized, are bottles, cans, groups of leaves…

To memorize all types of anti-Covid masks, it took three times fewer visuals. The easiest objects to detect, because they are standardized, are bottles, cans, groups of tree leaves which can be slippery, and especially cigarette butts. Nothing looks more like a butt than another butt, you might think. Not that easy. Some are crushed and others have taken the rain. But Cortexia is particularly equipped in this area, having analyzed large quantities of cigarette butts in several European capitals on behalf of tobacco companies. The system is self-learning. It is enriched and progresses by functioning.

On the same subject


Is the city of Bordeaux getting dirtier and dirtier?

In Bordeaux, we mechanically collect more waste because there are more and more inhabitants. But rather than multiplying the bins and intensifying the collection, “the challenge is to reduce the number of waste”, estimates the City

This start-up founded in 2016 in Châtel-Saint-Denis, not far from Lausanne, has been working since the end of June in the streets of Bordeaux for Citeo, the company with a mission founded by manufacturers to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging and paper. Two machines from Bordeaux Métropole, an electric bike and a micro-dumper collecting bins, mainly criss-cross the quays, with incursions into the neighborhoods near the Garonne, from Bordeaux-Sud to the Chartrons via the Public Garden. They are equipped with a high-definition camera fixed at a height of approximately 2 meters and connected to a box which processes the information and transmits it in real time. Its viewing angle is 30 degrees.

A Bordeaux Métropole micro-dumper intended for the collection of waste baskets is also equipped with the system.


A Bordeaux Métropole micro-dumper intended for the collection of waste baskets is also equipped with the system.

Thierry David / “SOUTH WEST”

Adjust passing frequencies

Their primary mission is to assess the impact of the 192 pairs of sorting bins installed this summer on the quays, one yellow, the other black, from the conservatory to the Jacques-Chaban-Delmas bridge. This experiment, which ended at the end of October, has already had repercussions. “We are going to have around ten additional ashtrays”, indicates Éric Duranton, the manager of the Bordeaux Métropole service in charge of cleanliness, roads and green spaces in the aforementioned sector.

“The cleanest cities are those that use the right resources at the right time and in the right places”

Legal clarification: no view is recorded. There are no traces of faces and license plates entering the field of vision. It is their transcription into statistical data that is useful. Adjust the frequency with which cleaning machines pass and place bins exactly where their effectiveness must be increased tenfold.

Unique in the world, the technology developed by Cortexia is currently capable of distinguishing about forty objects. The goal is not so much to count them as to calculate their density on a given surface, because this is what conditions the feelings of the inhabitants. “But the feeling does not make a public policy”, observes Jean-Baptiste Thony, the municipal councilor responsible for the circular economy, zero waste and cleanliness. “What is important is to also rely on objective figures. These figures, they did not exist. There we will have them. »

Cleanliness index

The measurements provided by Cortexia make it possible to establish a cleanliness index, the Clean City Index, with a score ranging from 0 (dirty) to 5 (clean). This applies to a city as a whole, but also, by zooming in on the maps sent, to a district, a street and even a section, with the possibility of isolating an area 20 meters long. Colors appear: green when cleanliness meets the objectives set by the municipality. When it’s blue we speak of “over-quality” and when it’s red of “under-quality”. There is a weighting mechanism. A canine droppings will deteriorate the rating four times more than a cigarette butt.

The goal is both economical and ecological. “A sweeper consumes water, often drinkable, and some 6 liters of diesel per hour,” notes Laurent Dalibon, Cortexia’s general manager for France. “The cleanest cities are those that use the right resources at the right time and in the right places, not those that spend the most. Basel and Geneva, where we operate, have made 20% savings on their mechanical means. »

Will this innovation be definitively adopted? Bordeaux Métropole is thinking about it.

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Bordeaux: artificial intelligence at the service of the cleanliness of the city


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