Despite spending 6.000 million euros every year in road pavement maintenance, around 30% of the 5,5 million kilometer European road network is in poor condition. Current strategies, based on corrective maintenance, are not only inefficient and costly but also have a negative impact on pavement life, road safety, driving costs comfort and the environment. One of the reasons is that pavement does not deteriorate uniformly and carrying out preventive operations periodically on the entire surface of all roads is impracticable. Additionally, pavement condition monitoring is performed by expensive profilometers, which makes it impossible for local roads to be inspected annually.
For cost-effective preventive maintenance, it is important to apply the right treatment to the right pavement section at the right time. Applus+ has joined forces with key industry agents from other European countries to develop a disruptive technology that will improve road maintenance in all aspects. Organised as a European consortium with EU funding (in the frame of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme), we have devised PAV-DT, a revolutionary pavement monitoring system. It is based on a low-cost device that can be easily installed in any vehicle, transforming it into an inspection tool, able to gather data in real-time just by circulating.
A cloud-based solution, accessible from anywhere, anytime
PAV-DT is located on a cloud-based platform, which makes it accessible at any moment, from anywhere. Alerts can be set if the collected data exceeds certain patterns, enabling preventive maintenance and reducing costs. Its advanced algorithm automatically uses the information gathered to design plans for predictive maintenance. This way, users have the latest available data on the pavement condition and receive the information on what actions to carry out, where exactly to apply them, and when to do it. A flexible, easy and customizable digital solution for an improved user experience.
This Applus+ service can be used to determine the value of IRI (International Roughness Index, the main reference parameter for national/regional road pavement condition assessment). It reaches current accuracy standards at a much lower cost, and it can also locate specific faults with higher accuracy: it is able to deliver specific information on the location of defects, classifying them and indicating their severity thanks to an innovative filtering process of registered accelerations that detects subtle changes in pavement surface before conventional monitoring techniques.
Road management and its impact on society
The implementation of PAV‐DT enables road management operators to save between a 47% and a 53% of their total cost in maintenance and inspection. Its low implementation costs will make it possible even for local administrations to have continuous information on the condition of the pavement. Additionally, this digital solution presents many other benefits for society at large. Some European associations estimate that maintaining the pavement in good condition can reduce 15% of road traffic accidents, 34% of traveling time, with a corresponding 34% reduction of CO2 emissions; while at the same time increasing car lifespan by 25% thanks to less tyre wear, among other aspects.