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Groundbreaking technology used to assess Staffordshire's roads

Posted on Friday 10th November 2023

Highways inspectors in Staffordshire will soon have another tool in their bid to assess the condition of the county’s roads—AI.

As inspectors make their way around the county, a smartphone app mounted to the windscreen will collect video data. Officers then upload the footage to be processed via AI, giving them a full picture of the condition of each road.

The Vaisala RoadAI identifies and categories potholes and other defects, as well as issues with standing water, road markings, and traffic signs.

Traditionally, road condition surveys are mostly performed manually. The new system lets inspectors survey roads while they are out in the county, making maintenance planning more precise.  

The new tech means that as well as surveying the roads at least once a year, inspectors will also get regular updates and more information on changes and emerging problems.

Staffordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways David Williams said:

“We are always looking to invest in new technology to help improve the condition of our roads, and this latest bit of tech will allow us to survey our roads more efficiently. Once in use, it will give us a full picture of the condition of roads across the county, allowing us to plan our maintenance programmes more effectively.

“Even so, we do still rely on the public to report defects where they see them using our ReportIt function. This year, we have invested nearly £20 million into fixing defects on Staffordshire’s roads, and we want to make sure we make this investment work as hard as possible.”

Inspectors are currently testing the new system, which will be rolled out across the county in the coming weeks. 

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