• Governer Partner :City of Syracuse
  • Department :Syracuse Public Works, Mayor's Office
  • Category :AI/ML, IoT, Mobility, Public Safety

Project Summary

Autonomous snow clearing technology for sidewalks.

Challenge Details

The City of Syracuse is interested in pursuing autonomous sidewalk snow clearing devices. One important thing to note is that the sidewalk condition isn’t always the best, so traditional plowing techniques may not work. Instead, a rotating brush or other type of snow-clearing apparatus might be more appropriate.

Today, the City of Syracuse property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow. However, there is no incentive or penalty associated with this requirement, so many of the sidewalks remain covered in snow. On average, Syracuse receives 124 inches of snowfall a year which means that many of the sidewalks are snow covered throughout the winter. This forces pedestrians to walk in the street which is a major safety concern. Many stakeholders are impacted, including business owners, pedestrians, students, drivers, and other resident groups.

This coming year the City is planning to pilot snow clearing efforts on 40 miles of sidewalk. However, it lacks the staff capacity to undertake this effort internally. Syracuse needs to find a way to get the sidewalks cleared without increasing the number of staff. This will increase pedestrian safety, improve mobility, and improve constituent satisfaction.

Autonomous snow clearing for sidewalks would allow the City to undertake municipal lead sidewalk clearing efforts which would reduce the number of complaints from constituents. It would increase mobility by allowing more people to walk throughout the City in the winter months. Most importantly, this would increase pedestrian safety by reducing the number of injuries and fatalities.