South Australia is harnessing groundbreaking technology to assess the condition of its extensive road network, ensuring efficient maintenance and safer journeys for all.
Spearheading this innovative approach is the Intelligent Pavement Assessment Vehicle (iPAVE), a world-first solution that promises to revolutionise the way roads are monitored and repaired.
“This is a road safety game changer for our state and will allow us to assess and maintain roads more efficiently than ever before,” Minister for Regional Roads, Geoff Brock, says.
“Not only will the iPAVE 3 help our maintenance teams make faster informed decisions, the fully equipped truck will also help us undertake road evaluations safely and without disrupting the flow of traffic.”
Developed in Denmark and deployed for the first time in South Australia, the iPAVE technology is integrated into a truck, equipped with an array of lasers and video cameras. While traveling at highway speeds, the iPAVE assesses road texture, condition, and bearing capacity in a single pass, covering nearly 400 state-maintained roads and highways.
The key advantage of this cutting-edge system is its ability to provide rapid data collection without the need for traffic control. The iPAVE offers a comprehensive view of road surfaces, identifying issues like cracking, and utilizes ground-penetrating radar to assess the structural condition beneath the road.
This real-time data empowers maintenance crews to make informed decisions swiftly, prioritizing areas in need of repairs and upgrades. It also aids in assessing the bearing capacity of the pavement, considering factors like flooding and water ponding. This insight is invaluable for long-term investments aimed at improving road safety.
The findings from this road assessment will play a pivotal role in the Minister for Regional Roads’ commitment to conducting a thorough audit of regional roads. Ensuring the transportation needs of local communities are met is a top priority for this initiative.
The iPAVE, deployed just last month, has already covered an impressive 2,500 kilometers as part of a joint survey conducted by the National Transport Research Organisation and the Department for Infrastructure and Transport. Its survey areas have included Glen Osmond Road, the South Eastern Freeway, as well as segments of Stott Highway and Karoonda Highway. The next phase of surveying will encompass regions such as Murray and Mallee, Fleurieu, and North Adelaide.
This comprehensive road assessment is scheduled to be completed by April of next year. The iPAVE system in South Australia represents the third iteration of this groundbreaking technology, following two previous models that have successfully collected data on over 400,000 kilometers of roads in Australia and New Zealand.
“The power of the new datasets that the Department for Infrastructure and Transport will have, means that there will be more informed decision-making about road maintenance treatments required, and the best timing for repairs,” NTRO CEO Michael Caltabiano says.
“Implementing new asset management systems lead to better community outcomes through the more effective use of public funds.”