Council's smart way to maintain roads

Published 04 May 2020

Asset scanning

Moreton Bay Regional Council is looking to smart technology to keep roads safe for the community.

By fitting waste trucks with dashcams and using the latest in artificial intelligence (AI), Council is automating how it identifies and fixes road infrastructure issues across Moreton Bay.

Mayor Peter Flannery said this exciting project is the most effective and efficient way to get data on our roads network.

“With over $2 billion worth of road and pathway infrastructure in our region, it’s no surprise that monitoring and maintaining them is a mammoth task” he said.

“Our waste vehicles are out and about every day, so we thought why not tap into this network to get the latest information on the status of our roads.

“By equipping waste trucks with videoing technology and using AI to identify potential issues, we’re able to collect up-to-date information and get to fixing our roads quicker”.

The program began in early 2019 with Council’s Asset Management team and ICT department working together with tech suppliers to fit a Council garbage truck with a consumer-grade dashcam, GPS and 4G modem.

Video footage captured by the camera is then transmitted to the cloud, where AI methods are used to identify potholes, cracking, line markings, and signs while also protecting privacy.

This data is then automatically sent to Council’s Asset Management system, where jobs are prioritised and assigned to a work team to undertake the repair.

“Before this system, Council’s data quickly became outdated and unreliable. Today, we know about a pothole within a week and its data on its severity, allowing us to schedule within our upcoming works”.

The system is now scaling up and will be in 15 kerbside collection trucks by the end of 2020, and a total of 28 in 2021.

With this project now well in production, Council is looking to the same technology for an e-bike to complete footpath scanning, and for an autonomous vehicle to detect stormwater pipe defects.