New round of trials for ‘game-changing’ road analysis tool

A predictive analysis tool to improve road maintenance is a step closer to being rolled out with new trials set to begin in NSW.

The Asset AI initiative involves installing sensors on garbage trucks and buses that can track road deterioration, including identifying potholes before they form, and prioritise road repairs.

The tool was pre-trialled at Canterbury-Bankstown Council last year, with Mayor Khal Asfour, pictured, saying the technology will save councils and ratepayers money and improve road safety.

“We do an audit of our roads once every four years and it is very expensive. This new technology will allow us to do it on a weekly basis instead,” Cr Asfour said.

“Asset AI uses predictive analysis to improve road maintenance by predicting the risk to the community rather than just reporting the condition of the road assets, and that’s great news for our residents.”

The Asset AI initiative is being funded by the NSW government and led by Transport for NSW and the Roads and Transport Directorate, a joint venture between Local Government NSW (LGNSW) and the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (NSW and ACT).

IPWEA President Grant Baker says Asset AI could revolutionise current practices.

“This initiative is a game-changer for local government to re-imagine the way they currently assess and audit roads to fully benefit from new technology,” Mr Baker said.

Further testing will occur in regional and metropolitan areas of NSW, including Georges River, Blayney, Central Coast, Liverpool, Wingecarribee, Sutherland, Warren Shire, Liverpool Plains, Griffith, Tamworth, Wollongong, and Murray River Councils in September.

The Asset AI project is expected to be available to all NSW Local Government areas in late 2023.