The future of technology in road safety

March 21, 2023
5 min read

Road Safety is a global issue

At Anditi, we place a high value on the safety of future generations. It is deeply concerning that road fatalities are the leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 9 and 25 globally, with vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, comprising 50% of these fatalities.

The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) projects that by 2030, an estimated 15 million people will have lost their lives due to road accidents globally, while another 500 million will sustain injuries, resulting in a financial burden of approximately $37.5 trillion Australian dollars.

UN Decade of action for road safety 2021-2023 infographic
source: iRAP

Our organisation is committed to transforming this disconcerting reality and is proud to be part of the solution. It is noteworthy that the yearly expense of road fatalities and injuries across the world is approximately 2.6 times greater than the annual spending on road infrastructure and maintenance.

This realisation drives our work to fulfill the 12 Global Road Safety Performance targets established by Member countries, aiming to reduce road fatalities by half by 2030. As a participating nation, Australia has set a target to ensure that 80% of travel occurs on roads rated as 3-Star or better by 2030. We are excited to be part of this effort to create safer roads and save lives.

Industry drivers of change

The iRAP Star Rating system is a critical tool in our mission to improve road safety. This system evaluates the safety of roads based on their design and infrastructure features, assigning a rating between 1 and 5 stars. A 5-star rating represents the highest level of safety performance, while a 1-star rating indicates the lowest.

In the past, assessing road safety required teams to drive thousands of kilometres of roads to record video footage, which was then subjectively assessed by coders. When manually reviewing that volume of data, accuracy decreases quickly.

To accelerate progress towards our goals, we must focus on data analysis and emerging technologies that can automate this tedious task. iRAP's AiRAP initiative is a prime example of this effort. AiRAP uses automatic, repeatable, and scalable methods to support road safety assessment, crash risk mapping, and investment prioritisation for all road users.

World-First Technology

Anditi is proud to be the world's first mobile LiDAR-derived road safety inspection system to receive AiRAP and iRAP accreditation. Our system is designed to simplify the process of road safety assessment by using LiDAR and imagery to move away from manual iRAP coding using video.

We understand the importance of completing the goals of 10 million+ km of road safety assessments globally by 2030, and we are committed to contributing to our country's target and the global effort to save lives on the roads through our expertise in mobile LiDAR analytics.

Revolutionary Projects

At Anditi, we are proud to have collaborated with iRAP on a project that aims to revolutionise road safety research. The project, detailed in the AiRAP Automation for Australian Road Safety report, focused on exploring the potential of accelerated and intelligent techniques for conducting a Star Rating of Roads.

We utilised mobile LiDAR and 360-degree imagery of the road corridor to create a web-based 3D point cloud, identifying 54 attributes and coding 34 iRAP Star Rating attributes for a pilot stretch of road in Sydney, New South Wales. This project was a significant step forward in road safety research, and our work has resulted in the development and accreditation of the AiRAP Star-Rating assessment framework for 34 Star Rating attributes.

Our commitment to road safety research and development continues, and we are excited to see the impact that our work will have on the future of road safety. The AiRAP accreditation process accredits the process rather than an individual responsible for coding the data, providing end-users with assurance regarding the source data and analytical process used to produce attributes.

Government Initiatives

In August 2022, the Victorian Department of Transport and Planning appointed Anditi to conduct a 196km AiRAP trial of five selected stretches of Victorian roads to examine the outputs of the AiRAP processes. The 5 Roads AiRAP Pilot Study project also utilised mobile LiDAR and imagery acquired from TomTom to identify and locate safety attributes along the road system.
As part of this project, we have worked with iRAP to develop AiRAP attribute definitions, ensuring that attributes are appropriately detailed and defined to enable automated techniques for accelerated and intelligent extraction of road safety attributes.

This includes exploring ‘Digital Definitions’ of attributes such as:
• Skid resistance and road condition
• Quality criteria (i.e. quality of curvature, delineation, intersection, pedestrian crossing etc)
• Curvature, sight distance, and skid resistance where the automated techniques used in AiRAP provide the opportunity for greater gradation between attribute categories. This could reduce the impact on the Star Rating of crossing from one threshold to another.

It has also involved exploring with iRAP how to code gaps in the passenger side, median and driver side safety barriers and the impact of this on coding of carriageway type, intersections, property access, paved shoulder width and pedestrian fencing.

Our Predictions

This work is ongoing and we predict accelerated and intelligent techniques are set to revolutionise the future of road safety. We're proud to be leading the way in the adoption of these game-changing technologies by automating and streamlining the process of assessing road safety attributes.

The future of cutting-edge technologies like RoadViewer will enable us to rapidly identify and address high-risk roads, reducing the number of road fatalities and injuries around the world with the power of artificial intelligence, machine learning, vision systems, telematics, and other emerging data sources, we can quickly and accurately assess the safety of roads based on their design and infrastructure features.

Our vision is a world where every aspect of a road network's planning, design, investment, construction, management, and maintenance is integrated with data analysis and advanced technologies. With the help of iRAP's new AiRAP initiative and our Roadviewer Inspection System, we're making this vision a reality.

With hundreds of thousands of kilometres of Australian roads left to code by 2030, there's never been a more urgent need for accelerated and intelligent techniques.

At Anditi, we're committed to making the world a safer place for all road users, and we're confident that our innovative solutions will help us achieve this goal.

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