Revealed – Dash-cams to be used to identify potholes and speed up repairs
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk Highways has teamed up with a Finnish AI company on a pilot aiming to better assess the state of the county’s roads.
Suffolk Highways and Vaisala began working together in summer 2018 to develop a new dashcam-based system.
The cameras are fitted to the dashboards of highways crews' vans and collect data on the condition of roads while out and about.
That data is then banked so that the degradation of roads over time can be monitored, problems spotted sooner and maintenance work carried out more quickly.
The council currently uses a laser-based sensor which costs £170,000 a year to hire, but Conservative cabinet member for highways Mary Evans said: "The laser sensor currently used struggles in wet weather and narrow roads.
You may also want to watch:
"This system gives us a consistent body of evidence. It means work can be planned much more.
"If this works it will save us about £2million over 10 years."
- 1 A12 reopens after serious collision
- 2 Family 'devastated' after elderly man's Reliant Robin tipped over
- 3 'A rut had set in and it needed to change... we will have got one or two wrong' - Cook on his Ipswich Town squad cull
- 4 Our Ipswich Town predictions: Top scorer, best player, where they'll finish and more
- 5 Man who built outbuildings and lake without permission fined £1,300
- 6 'There won't be a better group of strikers in the league' - Jeffers on Town's firepower
- 7 Snape Maltings launches two new restaurants with far-reaching river views
- 8 Haverhill firm goes into liquidation with just £2.42 in the bank
- 9 Suffolk pub reopens with exclusive Champagne carvery
- 10 Historic East Anglian sailing barge to become floating bakery
Mrs Evans' cabinet member report presented last week added: "The data being recorded is now starting to show good correlation with the results that are normally found from the more expensive national system for machine-driven surveys.
"Discussions are now in progress for the formal certification of this approach as a more cost-effective road condition assessment process."
Mrs Evans confirmed the dashcam technology can assess road surface, potholes, drainage, sign visibility and extent of hedgerow growth.
It is the latest in a series of improvement measures the council's Highways Improvement and Innovations Board has been looking at.
It has already invested in thermal pothole repair kit which reduces the number of temporary fixes needed on the roads, as well as being able to do it in poorer weather conditions.
Suffolk Highways now repairs potholes of 200mm diameter or more instead of the 400mm minimum previously needed, in an attempt to repair potholes earlier before they become a bigger issue.
Elsewhere, work is taking place with utility firms to review how work is co-ordinated and carried out, and come up with improvements that can ease disruption.