Transport NSW and the Roads and Transport Directorate will trial a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that tracks and prioritises road repairs, and could even identify potholes before they form.

The $2.9 million ‘Asset AI’ trial has seen 32 sensors installed on public transport buses, and when combined with local weather observations, the technology could be used to calculate and predict the rate of deterioration in roads, and streamline asset maintenance.

NSW Minister for Metropolitan Roads, Natalie Ward, said this cutting edge technology is revolutionising road maintenance across the state.

“It’s a brilliant use of resources already on our roads. Mounting cameras and sensors onto vehicles with regular routes, like garbage trucks and public transport buses, ensures road defects are captured incidentally, including those un-reported by residents,” Mrs Ward said.

“This AI technology assesses the captured footage and logs any road defects detected into a database in near-real time, meaning it will find potholes and cracks in the road before they find you.”

A pre-trial of the technology was conducted in Canterbury-Bankstown Council in 2021, and Asset AI™ is now being developed with initial camera and sensor trials underway across Greater Sydney.

Canterbury Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour said Asset AI™ will save councils and ratepayers money and improve road safety.

“We do an audit of our roads once every four years and it is very expensive. This new technology will allow us to do it on a weekly basis instead,” Cr Asfour said.

“Asset AI uses predictive analysis to improve road maintenance by predicting the risk to the community rather than just reporting the condition of the road assets, and that’s great news for our residents.”

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Sam Farraway, said road data is also being collected outside of the city with a utility vehicle mounted with cameras scanning 100km of rural roads, across regional NSW.

“A ute with the road scanning camera and user interface mounted is travelling across 100kmof regional NSW roads to detect and report on road conditions,” Mr Farraway said.

“We will have it out collecting data along the Great Western Highway between Lithgow and Bathurst, the Sturt Highway near Wagga Wagga and around Spring Ridge in the Upper Hunter.”

Further testing is being rolled out across regional and metropolitan regions including Georges River, Blayney, Central Coast, Liverpool, Wingecarribee, Sutherland, Warren Shire, Liverpool Plains, Griffith, Tamworth, Wollongong, and Murray River Councils in September.

The Asset AI™ project is funded by the NSW Digital Restart Fund and is expected to be available to all NSW Local Government areas in late 2023.

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1 Comment
  1. Terry 2 years ago

    A $2.9 million trial?

    I didn’t know a government organization also has the skills to be technology developers.

    Save tax payers money and leave this to industry to establish the solution and stop reinventing the wheel and trying to do something not in your skill set.

    Talking from experience, it should NOT cost this much to develop a solution like this. All it confirms is that there has been a lot of churn and reinvention from resources not skilled in computer vision and AI.

    Another example of government waste when the resources, time and money, could have been better used on other activities for the benefit of end users

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