SDG&E was recently named a 2022 “CIO 100 Award” winner for its use of innovative technology to deliver greater business value and an enhanced customer experience. The CIO 100 Awards are an annual recognition from IDG Communications’ CIO, an executive-level IT media brand and publication.
SDG&E’s award was in recognition of the company’s Community Impact Platform, an artificial intelligence tool that enables the deployment of zero-emission vehicles in a way that facilitates a just and equitable transition to a cleaner energy economy.
“The Community Impact Platform is a perfect example of how we can utilize innovation and technology to reduce emissions in our communities and build a more sustainable and equitable future for all,” said Ben Gordon, senior vice president, chief information officer and chief digital officer.
About the Community Impact Platform
Recognizing transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, SDG&E’s Community Impact Platform overlays advanced fleet GPS and vehicle data with socioeconomic data to create a model that prioritizes decarbonization efforts in vulnerable communities, which are often disproportionately affected by pollution and climate change. Based on this tool, SDG&E is able to prioritize the deployment of zero-emission vehicles to help offset the effects of climate change and pollution within vulnerable communities in our service territory.
The team began by mapping where SDG&E’s fleet vehicles drove and the duration of time these vehicles spent in these communities. This data was then visualized on a cloud-based application as the foundation for what is called a Digital Twin. A Digital Twin is a digital model of a physical object, system, or process that exists (or could exist) in the physical world. The company can utilize the Digital Twin to help prioritize vehicle replacement to achieve the most beneficial impact in communities of concern. The Digital Twin model determines the company’s highest-emitting vehicles and largest “offenders” in specific communities to then recommend the zero-emission vehicle replacements.
To date, the SDG&E’s Community Impact Platform team has leveraged artificial intelligence to cluster over 80 million data points. This has allowed the team to estimate and visualize the carbon emissions associated with each vehicle in SDG&E’s service area throughout their daily trips. For reference, one year of driving amounts to almost 16 million miles of trip data points that can be included in the platform. The team has integrated an intelligent vehicle replacement model into the Community Impact Platform to help guide and prioritize investments for zero-emission vehicles over the next 10-15 years to meet SDG&E’s sustainability goals.