Learn about how utilities in the UK are working with Mobileye technology to collect asset information, making maintenance and asset management easier.
In May 2019, Mobileye, an Intel company, and Ordnance Survey, Great Britain’s national mapping agency, began a joint project called RIACT – Roadside Infrastructure Asset Capture Trial. It was developed in response to an articulated need by highways and street asset owners to have current, consistent reliable mapping of all features of the road infrastructure. Utility companies, in particular, face the dilemma of needing to amalgamate data collected over the course of decades, leaving them with outdated, inaccurate information – especially regarding transferred and above-ground assets. Sometimes the type or status of an asset is missing.
RIACT uses the data collection capabilities of the Mobileye 8 Connect collision avoidance system along with Ordnance Survey’s advanced mapping technology to create an infrastructure asset data service for Great Britain.
Northumbrian Water, a company providing water and sewage needs of nearly 3 million people, was the first major fleet to join RIACT. Clive Surman-Wells, the company’s Group Operations Solutions Manager, spoke about Northumbrian’s interest in the program, “We’re really excited and proud to be the first utility company to have the opportunity to try this new technology. There are so many benefits that have the potential to really change the game when it comes to helping manage our networks and keep our customers’ water flowing.”
It is important to note this information is being gathered from vehicles as they are conducting their normal, everyday tasks – this project obviates the need for specialized (and expensive) survey vehicles sent out specifically to gather this information. This not only lowers costs but means that information is automatically and organically updated by vehicles conducting day-to-day tasks.
As of October 2020, the program has made over 6.5 million observations of over 1,700,000 unique objects. These include 500,000 poles, 783,552 signs and other road assets, 375,000 manhole covers and drainage gullies, 41,671 road direction arrows, 35,428 line markings, 23,000 instances of road damage and 20,316 traffic lights; and these numbers keep growing on a daily basis as the vehicles are used in day-to-day operations.
Of course, this is just the beginning. As RIACT continues, more and more data will be collected, improving recognition, and with new customers signing up, including Councils, more and more streets will be covered. Additional ways will be developed to use this data, helping to make utility companies, fleets, cities and local governments throughout Great Britain smarter, safer and more efficient.