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Clean City Index
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Intelligent solution for cleaner cities

CortexIA is the first Cleantech company to use Artificial Intelligence to monitor and optimize cleaning of cities.


Why is a clean city a major topical challenge?

A clean city is a thriving city where quality of life and well-being are key for inhabitants.


Cities’ population is constantly increasing, behaviors evolve. With urban densification and new societal habits, urban littering is increasing. At the same time, pressure on the environment as well as on the public budgets is getting stronger.


Cities’ cleaning is currently done based on pre-established plannings. Road offices are doing a remarkable job to match these constantly growing challenges. Currently, no objective measurement exists to know how and where cleaning means should be engaged. Cities cleaning means are washers and street sweepers. Their annual fuel and water consumption are important while emitting tons of CO2. Quite regularly, machines are cleaning where it’s not necessary.


Measuring street litter based on AI

CortexIA’s solution is the world’s first solution to manage cleaning based on real-time objective data of urban littering. Mobile cameras combined with AI algorithms provide information about the type, location and amount of litter, thus enabling a city to allocate cleaning resources as appropriate. They can then engage the right means at the right place and time. They don’t clean more but better!


…on a street sweeper

AI computing unit (© CortexIA)















Our expertise to support the cities in optimizing investments and operations to achieve higher cleanliness performance is based on digital core technologies such as machine learning and intelligent vision systems. We have built up this expertise through close cooperation with partner cities in Switzerland (Zürich, Geneva, Fribourg, Pully), anti-littering associations and the Swiss Universities (EPFL and HE-Arc).

A camera on a street sweeper locates different categories of waste (© CortexIA)

Litter is detected in a granular way and counted thanks to Artificial Intelligence. The measurement systems (cameras and computation units) are mounted on the city’s vehicles: bus, sweepers, bicycles, etc. No images are recorded, only data is sent via a sim card which is ensuring Data Privacy.

Economic and ecologial impact

Our solution optimizes cleaning steps. Littering will be effectively collected avoiding that it ends up in rivers, lakes and seas and one step further – by bioaccumulation – in our food.

The data is processed by a computer and used to calculate an average city clean index (green = clean, red = dirty, blue = overquality) (© CortexIA)

CortexIA’s solution will lower the cleansing costs: Paradoxically, a clean city will usually spend less for cleaning: 50 €/inhabitant/year, this is the cost generally estimated for cleaning only. When using CortexIA methodology, cities will invest 1€/inhabitant/year (monitoring and solutions) to save around 5€/inhabitant/year.


Optimizing the cleaning resources will save costs as well as greenhouse emissions: Better use of cleaning machines, targeted places to be cleaned at a certain point of time, redefinition of the scope of activity for each machine. Our solutions will also improve the environmental footprint of cities. CortexIA can also provide Acceleration Coaches to Cities to ensure optimal implementation of the proposed solutions and get consistent results.



Current technology status (industrialization):

— Developed from 2014 to 2017 with partner cities and universities in Switzerland

— Tested in 2018 with pioneer cities in Europe: Toulouse, Geneva, Zurich, Carouge and Athens

— Industrialization of currents 0-series completed Q3/2019

— New customers have signed for 2019, names not disclosed now


Special projects:

— Detection and Reduction of cigarette littering (1 project with Geneva, 1 project with Philip Morris)


The company behind the solution

Andréas von Kaenel has a successful track record in the management of companies with international exposure. He recently led a division by Meyer Burger, where he developed Pasan from a small pioneer company into the worldwide leader in its field. He developed markets in Asia, South America and Arabic countries for the Group. Born in 1965, he holds an MBA and engineering degree from EPFL.

Andréas von Kaenel

André Droux

André Droux is the founder of Hymexia, a company supporting Swiss cities in the management of their fleet management, in particular regarding maintenance vehicles. He teaches hydraulics at engineering schools and leads the CTIs innovation mentors for Western Switzerland. He developed several innovative machines for tunnel cleaning and maintenance operations. Born in 1970, he holds an engineering degree from the Bern university of applied sciences.


Nominierte Lösung: Clean City Index

Firma: Cortexia AG

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