06:43 06 July 2020
Hertfordshire County Council's highway team is using innovative artificial intelligence cameras to allow essential highways checks while ensuring that social distancing protocols are strictly being followed. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, a team of a driver and inspector carries out the tasks. AI cameras are now being used as a substitute to inspectors who used to manually log road defects.
The county council is the first to adopt the Vaisala Raod AI system for safety inspections to ensure work could continue to keep the highways safe for key workers and residents. This move follows the successful trial in February.
Kevin Carrol, Divisional Manager for Ringway, said: "The safety of our staff is paramount, and by using this technology we are able to ensure they are working in a safe work environment.
"Secondly, it allows us to continue with essential road maintenance during lockdown and in line with government recommendations. Social distancing and limitations with public transport have meant that roads are now the principal choice on which people are travelling. We need to ensure they are safe for emergency services, key workers and the general public."
Councillor Phil Bibby, Hertfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment, said: "This technology is great news for drivers in Hertfordshire. We've always trying to find new and better ways of doing things, and the Covid-19 restrictions have given us the impetus to take rapid leaps forward that might otherwise have taken months to implement.
"I'm really pleased that Ringway has been able to deploy this technology and continue with road inspections under difficult circumstances while freeing up staff for essential maintenance work."