Today, on July 3, 2014, Vice President of the Executive Committee on Information Technologies, the Smart City, Administrative Reform and Youth Harout Chitilian, accompanied by Vice President of the Committee on Public Security and Citizen Services Anie Samson, announced the Info-Neige Challenge, in collaboration with the Notman House and the creativity and collaboration consulting firm f. & co for the organization of its Info-Neige Challenge. This challenge follows the collaborative creativity event held on May 31, 2014, when around one hundred citizens took part in order to define the foundations of the future smart snow-removal application.
"After hearing the participants' dynamic presentations for improving communication and coordination during our snow clearing operations, today, thanks to the Info-Neige Challenge, we wish to obtain concrete proposals from the new technologies sector. And so, these firms and "startups" will help us resolve the problems of the transmission of information to citizens during coming snow removal operations," stated Mr. Chitilian.
More precisely, the Info-Neige Challenge consists of the participants providing a web-based solution, as well as an app for smart devices. This will allow the people of Montreal to stay informed on the activities surrounding no-parking zones and all other information relevant to snow removal. Besides developing an app, the participating companies need to also present a business model that will ensure that the proposed solution will be lasting.
Moreover, the City of Montreal is announcing that starting from November, it will be making the data related to the management of snow removal available. During the interval, challenge participants can test their apps by meeting the requirements of a real "snow storm simulator," which will model the data that will be made available in real time as early as this winter.
"This challenge is a real opportunity to benefit from our Montreal creatives in order to find a user-friendly app, as well to simplify our snow clearing activities, and all of this is while respecting our commitments to the population. The first snow storm this fall will bring us a whole new way of doing things," specified Ms. Anie Samson.
Once the registration period is over, a jury will evaluate the received proposals in a public hearing to be held at the Notman House on Aug. 16. At this event, each of the selected teams must present its project in twenty minutes or less. A ten-minute question period by the jury will follow each presentation. During this hearing, three grants of $5,000, $3,000, and $1,000 will be disbursed to the participants who are adjudicated as having developed the most interesting projects for responding to the needs of the people of Montreal.
Following this stage, the City of Montreal will validate the different projects presented and negotiate a contract with one of the participants with the aim of ensuring that the product will function well for the November 2014 to April 2015 period. This technological solution will complement the current poster system - of orange signs - used during snow clearing operations.
"In order to follow snow loading operations in real time and reinforce their regulation, I want to recall that we have invested some $6.6 million in order to launch a system, including the installation of GPS modules on the vehicles and sites for depositing the snow," concluded Mr. Chitilian.
What kind of information, other than live updates/reminders or no-parking zones, would be useful to communicate to citizens through a snow-clearing app?
Original article, originally published in French, here.
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