Artificial intelligence assesses the condition of roads
Maintenance The use of the new technology of a start-up is intended to save the city of Ebersbach time and money.
Ebersbach. The city of Ebersbach has recently used artificial intelligence to investigate its streets. “This will make road maintenance management many times more efficient, more sustainable and, above all, more cost-effective,” she says. She could use the technology thanks to her inclusion in a funding programme in the country. The procedure is used during the daily inspection sdrives of the building yard. A smartphone mounted behind the windshield, on which a special app is installed, takes a picture of the road surface every four metres. The images taken in this way are transferred to the cloud of the company “Vialytics” after the journey via W-Lan and analyzed with the help of algorithms and neural networks. “Artificial intelligence recognizes the various damages independently and evaluates and categorizes them into the respective damage classes,” explains the city. The algorithm now detects nine different types of damage, such as mesh cracks, open work seams, patches or breakouts. Ebersbach will receive the results of the evaluation within one month. They include images and GPS data. “In an intuitively designed and web-based geoinformation system, municipalities can not only map the road condition, but can also actively participate in the further planning by means of filter and analysis options. the refurbishment,” the city writes. In addition to Ebersbach, more than 70 municipalities in Germany use Vialytics. The company is a start-up from Stuttgart. “By evaluating the images of two traffic runs per year, Vialytics can now take the remediation measures based on the current road condition,” says Gerd Richter, head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Infrastructure. So far, building authorities have decided which roads need to be rehabilitated on the basis of data up to five years old. The new technology offers a more up-to-date and objective basis for decision-making: “We can see which roads should be rehabilitated more quickly and which could wait a little longer,” explains city architect Markus Ludwig. The financial resources earmarked for the redevelopment could thus be used more specifically. The recording of road conditions by mobile phone and app and their evaluation on the basis of artificial intelligence is one of the projects of the funding program “InKoMo 4.0″. The aim of the project, in which 19 municipalities are involved, is to set up a system that automatically records road damage.