Exciting new technology has hit the roads of South Australia in the form of a truck equipped with ‘world-first’ tools to assess the state’s road network.
Labelled the Intelligent Pavement Assessment Vehicle (iPAVE), it has already been deployed to collect road data across all of the state-maintained roads and highways to report back to the state government.
This information will then be used to guide the government’s road and infrastructure projects, easily locating areas that require new works and redevelopments.
Developed in Denmark, the iPAVE uses lasers and video cameras to collect data as it drives and assess road texture, condition and bearing capacity in a single trip.
Minister Geoff Brock says the truck will make looking after SA’s roads easier than ever.
“This is a road safety game changer for our state and will allow us to assess and maintain roads more efficiently than ever before,” he 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.
“The survey being carried out will lead to outcomes which benefit all South
Australians who use our key metropolitan and regional roads every day.
“We are committed to ensuring local communities have access to well maintained, reliable road networks for future generations.”
The truck is set to cover nearly 400 roads across the state, providing the government with clear insights on cracking on road surfaces and more. Ground-penetrating radar will be able to assess the structure underneath the road surface, giving maintenance crews the information they need to carry out repairs.
The iPAVE can also be used to assess pavement bearing capacity, allowing the truck to locate areas most prone to flood damage.
National Transport Research Organisation (NTRO) CEO Michael Caltabiano says the truck will provide not before seen opportunities for efficient data and research into Australia’s roads.
“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,” he says.
“Implementing new asset management systems lead to better community outcomes through the more effective use of public funds.”
So far, the iPAVE has completed 2500km out of 18,000km on its journey to scan SA’s roads as part of a joint survey between the department and the NTRO.
Areas covered include Glen Osmond Road, the South Eastern Freeway and parts of Stott Highway and Karoonda Highway. Further surveying will next take place in the Murray and Mallee, Fleurieu and North Adelaide regions.
The full survey is expected to be completed in April 2024, with the findings to inform the government’s next move on conducting an audit of regional roads to ensure local communities have their transport needs met.