Dubai's innovative solution for detecting and repairing road defects

Dubai's innovative solution for detecting and repairing road defects
Image Credits: RTA

The roads of Dubai are no exception to Dubai's forward-thinking and cutting-edge approach to urban development, for which the city is famous. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of the emirate has recently implemented a new technology that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and lasers to scan the road surface to locate cracks, potholes, and other defects that require maintenance.

The technology, known as the pavement management system, is installed on patrol vehicles that drive around the city's highways to gather information on the condition of the roads. The system consists of high-resolution cameras and laser scanners, and it can detect up to thirteen flaws in the asphalt surfaces of roads. These flaws include rutting, ravelling, patching, and loosening of asphalt surfaces.

The system can detect cracks on the road surface that are as small as 1mm, which significantly improves the accuracy of traditional inspection methods. The system also processes the data in real time using AI algorithms that perform analyses on various parameters, including the crack's width, depth, and location. The system then generates comprehensive reports for RTA engineers, who can prioritize and plan projects related to repairs or resurfacing based on the information provided by the system.

The RTA intends to extend the lifespan of the road infrastructure by detecting and fixing these defects at an early stage in the hopes of reducing maintenance costs, improving road safety, and minimizing the time that traffic is disrupted. Additionally, the system assists in creating a virtual map of Dubai's roads that is accurate to a degree of 97 percent and can be utilized for future planning and development.

Dubai's goal is to become a "smart city" that effectively uses technology to improve the city's services and residents' quality of life. One component of this goal is the installation of a pavement management system. The RTA has also implemented several other initiatives, including self-driving electric cars. These electric cars can map roads in preparation for autonomous transportation, intelligent parking systems, and intelligent traffic signals.

With a pavement quality index of 95 percent from the previous year, Dubai's roads are consistently ranked among the best in the world. This high standard will be helped to be maintained by new AI and laser technology, which will also help to make driving in the emirate as stress-free as possible for drivers.