Cracking the case on road monitoring

Our RoadCrack imaging technology automates the task of surveying the nation’s roads with a capacity to detect cracks one millimetre wide from beneath the chassis of a moving vehicle.

The Challenge

Manual road surveying is inefficient

It is important that we maintain our roads, however manual surveying of surface conditions can present a number of problems in relation to cost, accuracy, safety and efficiency.

That's why we were approached by the New South Wales (NSW) Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) to assess the potential of automated crack detection technologies.

Our Response

Introducing RoadCrack, a fully-automated system

To overcome these challenges, we developed RoadCrack in collaboration with the RTA.

RoadCrack is a fully-automated crack monitoring system that combines advances in:

Our RoadCrack imaging technology automates the task of surveying the nation’s roads. © Kichigin, iStock

  • machine vision
  • parallel computing
  • artificial intelligence
  • image analysis.

RoadCrack works thanks to high-speed cameras which are mounted under a vehicle to collect digital images of the pavement surface while the vehicle is moving at high speed.

A special reflector system focuses light to illuminate tiny cracks. High-resolution images are collected for small sections of pavement and then consolidated into bigger images that cover half-metre intervals of the road surface. Algorithms and hardware also allow users to extract this information in real time.

RoadCrack is the first system in the world to achieve the RTA's standards for an automated, objective and accurate crack detection system and has successfully surveyed hundreds of thousands of kilometres of Australian roads.

The Results

Saving millions in maintenance costs

RoadCrack detects cracks as fine as one millimetre in width, while travelling up to 105 kilometres per hour. It can also operate at night as the system provides its own lighting for road imaging.

The objective data from RoadCrack provides valuable input into management of road pavement assets, saving the NSW State Government roads authority tens of millions of dollars each year in road maintenance costs.


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