SA To Use NTRO iPAVE Technology On Its Roads

The iPAVE technology uses a series of lasers and video cameras fitted to a truck to assess and maintain roads more efficiently than ever before

World-first technology is being used to assess the condition of South Australia’s roads and ensure maintenance is carried out more efficiently across the state’s road network.

NTRO’s Intelligent Pavement Assessment Vehicle (iPAVE) has started collecting vital road data across all state-maintained roads and highways, with the information to be used to help determine future road maintenance and prioritise repairs and upgrades.

Developed in Denmark, the iPAVE technology is fitted to a truck and uses a series of lasers and video cameras to assess road texture, condition and bearing capacity in a single pass while travelling at highway speeds.

The iPAVE truck, deployed in SA for the first time, will cover nearly 400 roads across the state, providing rapid data collection without the need for traffic control.

The cutting-edge system will provide a clear insight into what’s happening on the road surface, such as cracking, along with ground-penetrating radar to assess structural conditions underneath – allowing maintenance crews to make faster informed decisions on where works are needed most.

Data obtained will be used to assess the bearing capacity of the pavement, including the impact of flooding and water ponding, pinpointing areas where the pavement may be subject to failure and guiding long-term investment to improve safety.

Findings will also form part of the Minister for Regional Roads’ commitment to conduct an audit of regional roads and ensure local communities’ transport needs are met.

Since its launch in October 2023, the iPAVE has completed 2,500km out of 18,000km as part of a joint survey between the National Transport Research Organisation (NTRO) and Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT).

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 survey on South Australian roads is due to be completed in April next year.

This latest system – the third iPAVE truck – follows two previous models which have collected data across more than 400,000 kilometres of Australian and New Zealand roads.

SA Minister for Regional Roads Geoff Brock, pictured above with NTRO Chief Operating Officer Dr Richard Yeo, labels it a “road safety game changer for our state” which will allow is to assess and maintain roads more efficiently than ever before.

“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,” he says.

NTRO CEO Michael Caltabiano says the new datasets will enable more informed decision-making about road maintenance treatments required, and the best timing for repairs.

“Implementing new asset management systems lead to better community outcomes through the more effective use of public funds,” he adds.

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