HE Minister of Municipality Abdullah bin Hamad bin Abdullah Al Attiyah on Sunday launched the first phase of the smart cities solutions project, which primarily includes the implementation of a smart waste management system, a vehicle management and task distribution system, and a central operations command platform.

These initiatives are aligned with the ministry's strategy for 2024-2030, focusing on optimizing quality of life, prosperity, urban modernization, service excellence, and digital transformation.

His Excellency affirmed the ministry's commitment to strengthening its public services through the implementation of new and innovative projects and initiatives, highlighting that the launch of these new systems is part and parcel of achieving the digital transformation of the ministry's services, leveraging modern technologies including smart solutions and artificial intelligence (AI).

The goal, he said, is to achieve the highest levels of performance, quality, and productivity in services provided to the public, while also reducing operational costs and progressing towards smarter, greener, and sustainable cities. This aligns with the objectives of Qatar's Third National Development Strategy 2024-2030 and the final stages of the Qatar National Vision 2030, striving to establish the State of Qatar as a pioneering country in digital government.

HE the Minister of Municipality emphasized that this system aims to monitor the movement and compliance of vehicles and drivers within specified routes or geographical areas by maintaining a comprehensive historical record of each vehicle's movement, performance, and technical data during operation. Moreover, the system manages and tracks regular and emergency maintenance schedules for vehicles, integrating with the mechanical assets management warehouse.

His Excellency pointed out that the system features the capability to monitor vehicle drivers and evaluate their performance, as well as re-evaluate vehicle movement routes and geographically redistribute them to ensure the shortest routes and minimize time, consumption, and costs.

It also involves assigning tasks to vehicles and drivers, monitoring and tracking them in real time, and recording their trips. The system maintains a complete historical record of trip routes, which can be referenced as needed for verification and auditing purposes.

For his part, Assistant Undersecretary for Shared Services Affairs at the Ministry of Municipality Hamad Khalifa Al Khalifa said the launch of the first phase of the project comes within the context of the ministry's ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. It will have a significant impact across multiple levels: operationally, by enhancing productivity, quality, and operational control; economically, by reducing costs and expenditures; and environmentally and health-wise, by achieving sustainability and improving quality of life. The initiative underscores the ministry's dedication to modernizing infrastructure and leveraging technology to bolster overall efficiency and effectiveness in urban management.

Al Khalifa added that the implementation of the first phase of smart waste management, vehicle tracking, and task distribution has commenced in Al Wakrah Municipality. It will be expanded to all municipalities in subsequent phases. This project, he highlighted, is noted as the largest of its kind being implemented at a city level in the Middle East region.

He noted that the project will play a critical role in significantly improving public health conditions by efficiently managing waste through automatically generated schedules and routes for waste container collection, emphasizing that the initiative primarily aims to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as lower carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles. Also, it seeks to substantially decrease waste collection costs by fully monitoring waste management operations through an advanced wireless tracking system.
For his part, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Services Affairs at the Ministry of Municipality, Eng. Abdullah Ahmed Al Karani said the implementation of the smart waste management system and vehicle tracking and task distribution system as a first phase in Al Wakrah Municipality has unequivocally had a positive impact on advancing and improving operations in public cleanliness management and mechanical assets management.

He added that this has resulted in a significant increase in the key performance indicator of overall compliance week after week, affirming that there has been a notable improvement in drivers' compliance with the automated plans set by the system. Also, recently, efforts have been focused on combining recycling containers into the automated collection plans within the new system as part of an independent collection plan, thus setting the stage for expanding the implementation of waste recycling and reprocessing projects.

He highlighted that the project represents one of the largest initiatives in smart cities and digital transformation within the Ministry, as it serves as an intelligent simulation of traditional waste management and collection operations, noting that In its initial phase, the project has been implemented across all waste containers and vehicles in Al Wakrah city.
Currently, he said, the system autonomously manages all waste collection plans without human intervention. This approach has already shown a significant reduction in the number of collection trips and waste compactor vehicles. Moving forward, the ministry aims to further minimize the number of trips and vehicles involved, aligning with the primary goals of the project.

Eng. Al Karani affirmed that as part of this project, 1039 tracking devices have been installed to monitor the government fleet of vehicles and equipment, including sewage tankers equipped with specialized sensors to measure liquid levels, emphasizing that the initiative is anticipated to profoundly enhance fleet management by maximizing productivity with the minimum number of vehicles required.

It also aims to optimize vehicle routes to ensure optimal usage, regulate maintenance and operational expenses, and improve driver performance. These efforts are geared towards achieving efficient resource utilization and operational excellence across the fleet.

Director of the Information Systems Department at the Ministry of Municipality, Dr. Hamda Al Maadeed outlined that the first phase of the project includes a centralized platform for operations and command, providing both General Cleanliness Management and Mechanical Assets Management with essential tools for operations management, execution monitoring, and generating necessary statistical reports.

The platform also features real-time monitoring dashboards for all system components, ensuring comprehensive oversight. Moreover, the platform offers a unified operations center for customer service management and a centralized contact center, providing a holistic view of operations in real time. This integrated approach strengthens operational efficiency, facilitates prompt response to issues, and enables proactive management of city services and resources.

Dr. Al Maadeed highlighted that the central command platform will serve as the core hub for monitoring and managing operations across all current and future smart city systems and solutions. It will provide each department within the ministry with a comprehensive view to manage and monitor their current operations effectively.

She affirmed that in the future the ministry plans to integrate additional smart city projects into this platform. These may include systems like smart building management, smart park management, and other advanced systems aimed at enhancing urban functionality and sustainability. This integrated approach aims to streamline operations, optimize resource utilization, and improve service delivery across various municipal sectors.

Dr. Al Maadeed elucidated that the smart waste management system oversees all operations and components of waste collection in Al Wakrah city. This includes 7,571 waste containers and 39 waste transport vehicles. The system combines specialized electronic sensors on these components, monitoring and transmitting data through an Internet of Things (IoT) network to a central operations platform. This platform uses advanced artificial intelligence and big data analytics technologies to monitor the operations and movements of all components within the smart system.

The sensors on the containers read and monitor various data such as fill levels, temperature, stability in their correct geographical location, and their condition. The Information Systems Manager at the Ministry of Municipality pointed out that once data is collected, the system employs intelligent optimization algorithms to identify full containers and automatically allocate them to collection plans based on their size. It determines the shortest routes for collection and transport for each vehicle based on real-time and historical data. This process is fully automated from start to finish, providing an advanced solution to reduce vehicle trips and consequently decrease fuel consumption and optimize vehicle usage. This, in turn, reduces maintenance costs, road wear and tear, and alleviates peak-hour congestion.

She also highlighted that the vehicle management and tracking system, managed by the Mechanical Equipment Department at the Ministry, tracks, and manages the Ministry's fleet of vehicles, initially covering over a thousand vehicles. These include waste transport vehicles, compressors, and tankers. The system monitors these vehicles comprehensively through specialized electronic sensors that send data to the Ministry's IoT network.

This integrated approach enhances efficiency and sustainability in waste management, leveraging cutting-edge technology to improve operational outcomes and environmental impact management.
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