City of Guelph has extended their partnership with irisGO

The AC JumpStart alumni is an AI enabled plug and play IoT device that automatically captures objects of interest for municipalities.

February 9, 2021

AC JumpStart client IRIS R&D Group has just come out of a very successful 2020, as the City of Guelph has extended their partnership with irisGO, an AI enabled plug and play IoT device that automatically captures objects of interest for municipalities.

IRIS R&D Group is a privacy-centric smart cities hardware data platform company that uses AI technology without compromising people’s privacy. IRIS ultimately helps municipalities make cost effective decisions based on data. 

In 2019, the City of Guelph began to question how they could base their road maintenance on more frequent and comprehensive data concerning road conditions. In that same year, a satisfaction survey unveiled that road maintenance was the number one concern for Guelph residents. As a result, the City used its Civic Accelerator program to reach out for proposed solutions.

IRIS R&D Group applied with a strategy to target road maintenance. They proposed that the City of Guelph use their irisGO technology, a dashboard camera that uses artificial intelligence to identify potholes and road debris, but also eliminates any personal information collected by the cameras. The City eagerly selected them and began using irisGO. 

“We won against players already established in the industry. The project was a success; we were able to meet targets,” said Emil Sylvestor Ramos, CEO of IRIS R&D Group.

In January 2020, the City of Guelph and IRIS R&D Group extended their partnership, as the results were showing promise and irisGO was easy to install in existing City vehicles. The video collected was then given to IRIS to train the AI system to identify road defects. IRIS then began developing prototypes of a user-interface — a map that shows overall road conditions.

“The relationship with the City of Guelph is a co-development relationship that creates meaningful, impactful technology that’s going to help them better maintain roads and keep roads in [safe conditions],” Ramos said. 

“What the first phase meant for us is that we were able to develop a pavement condition index system using AI and image-based analysis. This is groundbreaking and is currently being patented … this is going to make us competitive in the global market.”

Ramos explained that the AC’s mentors assisted them with their overall strategy as they nurtured this new partnership. 

“I think one of the most important things that we got [from the AC] is support — emotional, mental, psychological and empowerment that the AC team brings [to its clients],” Ramos said. 

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