Sensat News

Efficient highway management: How mobile mapping supports surveys

March 27, 2023

For any asset owner with highway assets, finding ways to improve efficiency whilst minimising risk and cost is at the forefront of everyone's mind. However, capturing an asset's condition has previously required sending workers onto live highways entailing lane closure and disruption to the public, both of which come at a significant cost.

In this blog we're sharing how you can capture information and track your asset remotely using mobile mapping.

The challenge of capturing highway survey data

Surveying a highway asset can be a disruptive process for the public and costly for the asset owner. Usually, a survey will require the closure or partial closure of the asset to secure the safety of workers. However, despite extensive training and safety measures, putting boots onto live highways will always carry risk.

In addition to public disruption and health and safety risks, surveying a highway asset can be expensive for you as the asset owner. On top of hiring surveyors and equipment, having lanes closed for longer than expected may entail additional financial penalties.

The cost and disruption associated with surveying highway assets highlight the importance of effective asset management strategies to minimise impact.

Undisruptive Data Capture

With industry-leading data capture technology, things are changing. Today teams are expediting their digital data capture process using the state-of-the-art Leica Pegasus TRK 700. The Leica Pegasus TRK is a mobile mapping unit which can be attached to a car and driven along an asset to capture high-quality survey data. This means there :

  • No need for disruption through lane closures
  • No need to expose workers to live highways on foot
  • Reduced cost associated with conducting a survey

The survey can all be accomplished from the safety of a vehicle allowing your asset to run more efficiently.

capturing  Leica TRK 700 data

6 ways a mobile mapping unit can support your highways project

1. Accurate data capture without additional ground control

With 11mm absolute accuracy, the Pegasus TRK can capture highly precise data of your highway asset project without requiring additional ground control. This can save you time and resources in the data capture process.

2. GDPR-compliant data capture

The Leica TRK comes with a brand new AI algorithm that blurs all vehicles and people onboard before human interaction, ensuring that the system is fully GDPR compliant as soon as the image is taken.

3. Secure data handling

All data captured by the Pegasus TRK system is encrypted and won’t leave the system, ensuring that your data is safe and secure from the start.

4. High-resolution imagery

The Pegasus TRK system comes equipped with a SmartFusion ‘butterfly’ camera system that provides up to 120MP integral view. With additional front, side, and rear pavement cameras, the resolution is multiplied, creating data-rich imagery for your project.

5. True colour representation

The Pegasus TRK system features enhanced calibration that delivers true colour imagery according to the CIEDE2000 colour-difference formula. This ensures that your scans can be visualised with best-in-class colour truth to bring your highway site to life as it is in reality.

6. Improved georeferencing in challenging environments

The sophisticated integration of IMU and SLAM technology in the Pegasus TRK’s sensor architecture enables georeferencing in challenging GNSS-denied environments. Precision RTK positioning gives location accuracy down to the centimetre, in real-time. Optical DMI accessories installed on the back of the vehicle can measure the travel distance in GNSS challenging conditions accurately, avoiding the traditional slip error of wheel-based DMI. This allows for improved trajectory and data accuracy even in challenging environments.

Visualising your highway

Once you have captured your highway, your data is as good as nothing if it sits there without being used. You need to make your data accessible and understandable so that teams can use the data for decision-making. One way teams are doing this is using visualisation platforms, like Sensat’s Common Visualisation Environment (CVE)®, where you can bring in survey data and overlay plans and designs to enable in context decision-making. For example, Connect Plus, the team responsible for managing the M25 are using a digital twin of their asset using autonomous data capture to layer traffic management layouts over for better planning and execution of plans. Read more here.

Conclusion: improving the efficiency of your asset management

By leveraging the power of mobile mapping and digital data capture, highway asset owners can improve the efficiency of their asset management processes. This includes reducing disruption through lane closures, exposing workers to less risk on live highways, and optimising maintenance budgets.

Interested in learning more about digital data capture? Why not read how Connect Plus and Osborne digitally mapped the UK’s busiest motorway?