GuideLines Improving road maintenance & inspection accuracy via mobile technology

Keeping road infrastructures safe is challenging but fundamental for the security of citizens, travelers, and the economy at large. Without properly constructed highways, freeways, and roads, enterprises cannot travel to meet in person with partners and collaborators. Maintaining them in the suitable condition is critical because it ensures continuity for businesses and for travelers.  

The challenges of outdated road inspection techniques 

Today’s road inspection techniques are manual, predisposed to errors, and time-consuming. Most transportation agencies hired by governments around the world still use pen and paper to write down irregularities. The majority use digital cameras to photograph what improvements need to be made. And since the data collected must be transferred to a computer, manipulating the information is once again done manually, making the work involved incredibly laborious and intensive. 

Data quality poses yet another challenge as notes that are handwritten are subject to damage, not to mention that it may be difficult to read, which leads to human errors. The key to tackling the challenges mentioned lies in the power of advanced technologies. Mobility solutions are increasing in popularity in the transportation sector because they have the means and the tools to drive efficiency, reduce costs, improve productivity, and ultimately reduce manual labor. 

Mobile technology apps, the key to improving road maintenance & inspection 

Transport workers in different countries are already used to using mobile applications that streamline real-time data sharing and viewing. There are tools that enable electronic report generation to speed critical processes in transportation. Improving performance can only be done if governments and official entities can accept that digitalization of manual labor is a need, not a luxury. 

Rijkswaterstaat (RWS), the official directorate of Public Works and Water Management in the Netherlands, is one of the many organizations currently benefiting from mobile technology.  RWS uses a mobile application to maintain several of the country’s main road networks. The app is capable of inspecting road conditions and is currently being employed by road inspectors who use smart devices like iPads to record information in real-time. 

The benefits of mobile technology in the transportation industry 

As mobile technology matures, the right tools are in place to disrupt the transportation industry. The reliability, cost-efficiency, and speed of mobile communication networks are driving adoption even further. Seamless synchronization, online and offline, can ease the work done by road inspectors. Via 3G and 4G connections, they can store the data locally without fearing it will be lost or misplaced. 

Furthermore, mobile technology for road maintenance facilitates recordings in real-time, allowing workers to observe and assess irregularities with extreme precision. Hectometer pole and road numbers, for example, enable easy access to GPS coordinates, which provides 100% accuracy on location. Additional features of mobile technology apps also include cloud-based HTML7 interfaces to make sure all collected data is made available to road inspectors from any device.    

What the future holds mobile technology in road maintenance & inspections 

As mobility road inspection applications are maturing, government officials should open up more and embrace digital transformation. Building sturdy highways and heavy-duty roads are not enough to streamline transportation. The key to ensuring road continuity is prevention, and advanced technology like mobility apps have the tools to ensure proper maintenance. 

Although mobile devices won’t replace inspectors, the perks and benefits supported by automation save up time and cut costs. The right application can transform an inspection vehicle into a digital workroom because it enables accurate mapping via GPS, 3G, and 4G technology.  

The more relevant the information is, the better chances a road inspector has to cover wider areas, make better decisions, and respond to upcoming concerns faster. All things considered, mobile technology unlocks tremendous possibilities, and to get ahead of the curve government officials must learn to accept that digitalization is here to stay for the long run.  

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