Yotta, the connected asset management and services provider, has partnered with Vaisala, the Finnish weather, environmental and industrial measurements company, to enable UK councils to collect accurate high-quality data from across their highways network much faster than before and use it to make more intelligent decisions about the future of their roads.
The two companies are delivering a combined solution to councils. This solution features Vaisala’s RoadAI product and Yotta’s asset management software solutions, Horizons and Alloy. Vaisala’s RoadAI uses high-quality video data and computer vision to assess highway conditions quickly and accurately. Yotta’s Horizons and Alloy then interpret the data and use it to provide rapid insight into future planning and maintenance needs.
UK councils and highway authorities can use Vaisala’s technology to replace their existing road condition survey methodologies which are much slower to collect data and may be inconsistent and subjective. RoadAI enables data collection across highway networks quickly and easily, whilst maintaining quality.
Ben Brown, Head of Road Asset Management at Vaisala, said: “Our joint solution allows clients to cover much more of their network than a conventional survey. This means they can compress the programme time. So, instead of having to plan to undertake a data collection one year, and then wait to receive the results, interpret them, and think about carrying out maintenance the following year, they can do the data collection and develop the plan in weeks and even carry out the maintenance programme, all within the same season.”
Emily See, Senior Consultant, Infrastructure Asset Management at Yotta, said:”This partnership is all about harnessing innovation to bring benefits to our customers. We are supporting each other to drive through innovation for our council clients across the UK and provide constant feedback between the two organisations in an open and transparent way. Innovation can often be seen as a risk for local authorities, however what we aim to achieve is making innovation safer both for ourselves and our council clients. By working collaboratively local authorities are gaining the benefits of the innovation but also minimising risk at the same time.”
Clients of the partnership benefit from what Vaisala terms ‘early intervention asset management’. Using Vaisala RoadAI, engineers can collect geospatial video data every time they go out on the network, either responding to an ad hoc call out or as part of a routine network or safety inspection.
Clients can also automatically process video data to produce condition surveys that allow them to move away from today’s scenario, where they need to book and commission a survey with an external agency when that agency has the resource available and then plan it – six to 12 months in advance. It also gives councils the opportunity to undertake condition surveys on a risk-based approach following the inspection regime. This means our roads may have much more regular condition assessments.
With the early intervention asset management that the partnership between Yotta and Vaisala supports, councils can pick up defects on the network as soon as they start to occur. This enables them to intervene early and target their treatment plans at minor defects just starting to emerge, in turn enabling them to implement lower cost treatments like sealing up and surface dressing to prevent them deteriorating further over time.