Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Shoalhaven deploys AI to roll out safer roads

Shoalhaven City Council is pairing its recycling trucks with artificial intelligence to tackle pothole problems in the local government area.

The LGA’s roadways have endured 14 declared natural disasters in just four years.

Partnering with TechnologyOne and Retina Visions, last year the Council trialled placing cameras at the front of six recycle trucks to monitor road conditions.

Footage from the cameras is scoured by artificial intelligence to identify potholes, road cracks or damage. The data is then triaged and sent on to Council’s asset management solution to create a work order and workers sent out to fix the problem.

Council Director City Services, Carey McIntyre said the smart solution assists addressing road asset repair pain points, namely low coverage, manual data entry, cost, data and reporting lag and time wasted inspecting individual defects.

“As multiple storms, floods, bushfires, and severe weather events hit the local government area between 2019 and 2022, Shoalhaven’s assets were severely impacted. We needed a solution to support field workers with the increasing demand and ensure safe roads for our community,” Mr McIntyre said.

Director City Services at Shoalhaven City Council, Carey McIntyre.

“The solution detected 2,000 defects a week in the first six months, from potholes and overhanging branches to debris on the road, cracks in the footpaths, graffiti, broken or damaged street signs and line mark deterioration, all of which affect the safety of our roads.”

In just two weeks, 87% of Shoalhaven’s entire road network can be assessed for defects, with the council able to rectify a record 10,688 defects over just three months, he said.

“With a staggering number of defects being detected by only six trucks, we relied on TechnologyOne’s Enterprise Asset Management solution to provide a rating on a scale from zero to 10 to help our team of 76 field workers tend to the most urgent ones quicker,” Mr McIntyre said.

As TechnologyOne’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution is accessible from any browser or any device using a browser, the triaged data from Retina Visions can be consumed directly into the TechnologyOne asset management system, said Mr McIntyre.

The asset repair jobs created include location data, work instructions, maps, and photographs and once the defect has been tended to, the crew can close the job and include images of the completed work, he said.

“TechnologyOne and Retina Visions made it easier for us to efficiently monitor, plan and prioritise the maintenance of our road network, which is more than 1,700km, for the benefit of the community.”

TechnologyOne’s CEO, Ed Chung said the Australian technology company has worked with councils for 36 years and understands the community focus that every local government has.

“It’s outstanding to see two homegrown tech companies with deep knowledge of how local governments work and a shared understanding of their priorities collaborate and innovate,” Mr Chung said.

“We understand that livability and community safety are at the top of the list for councils globally, which is why I’m so proud to see our asset management solution supporting Shoalhaven City Council’s recovery from recent natural disasters and deliver safer quality roads and assets to its residents and visitors.”

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