The value of image data in road maintenance and infrastructure maintenance is evident. We have listed some of the main benefits that good quality and systematically collected comparable data over time have for road authorities, road maintenance contractors and consultants.
- Damage detection with images: Good quality images can reveal defects on roads such as cracks, potholes and other possible forms of damage on the road surface. AI (Artificial Intelligence) can be utilized to help in analyzing images and identifying areas that require maintenance or repair. It is good to remember that trusting solely on AI in making analysis can lead to wrong conclusions. AI is nevertheless of good help for road maintenance professionals to evaluate the need of maintenance activities.
- Images for preventive maintenance: When utilizing image data for quality and maintenance purposes, it is extremely important to systematically collect image data for tracking changes over time. This, at it´s best, helps maintenance teams to predict potential issues ahead. Scheduling preventive maintenance tasks is then possible and will save costs, prevents major road failures and adds to safety of all road users.
- Asset management with images: Images are often used to create an inventory of assets found on roads, including signs, streetlights, road markings and other valuable resources. Also in this purpose images are used for effective maintenance of the assets. AI could be of good assistance in analyzing asset conditions and maintenance needs.
- Image data boosting efficiency: The need for manual and remote inspections are reduced due to good quality image data available. Images allow broad coverage of road network inspections in shorter time than manually doing inspections. This is why it enables efficient inspections and adds to safety of inspectors.
- Safety of operations through image data: When identifying and paying attention to potential road defects early, image data helps in preventing accidents thus improving road safety. Also, the work phases of designing, planning and inspectioning gets safer due to the fact of not needing frequent visits on remote road locations when good quality images are available digitally.
- Image data reducing costs: When capturing image data systematically and utilizing it for before and after purposes, it will enable more cost-effective way to manage and maintain roads compared to labor intensive methods. Fewer on-site personnel are needed and images allow also quicker analysis of the road conditions identifying potential defects that would require immediate action.
- Archiving image data: Systematically collected images over time should be archived for later use for analysis purposes. That will help in use of future reference and in conducting longitudinal studies of road conditions. The use of before and after images is a powerful way of identifying potential defects on roads but also quality improvements after road maintenance work carried out by contractors.
As a conclusion, it is easy to state that image data is very helpful and useful in road maintenance, but also in other infrastructure maintenance environments. Systematic collection of images for road maintenance purposes and other infrastructure management purposes are vital. This enables improved safety of road staff and road users, but adds also to efficiency and cost effectiveness.
Autori provide tools for managing image data for quality assurance and initial data capturing for road maintenance contract management purposes. We have experience in road image data collection and management in 10 different countries. Overall, Autori platform provides unique solutions for road maintenance and other infrastructure maintenance enabling visual, powerful work, quality and asset management.
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