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Saturday , 28 January 2023

Case Study: iROADS – An indispensable solution for Efficient Road Asset Management

iROADS is a sophisticated infrastructure asset management system and decision-making tool for all infrastructure assets, delivering a single solution software tool for asset owners and operators.

TRL Technologies India Private Limited (a joint venture between TRL UK and Experion Technologies India) makes this software solution accessible to the globe. The ingenious tool helps in the management of road assets with optimum maintenance and utilization of funds. TRL’s solutions support design, implementation, and management of safe & reliable road transport networks.

The Business Challenge

The Kerala Public Works Department (PWD), which manages all roads including highways and local roads, was struggling with an outdated method of managing them. By adopting iROADS on 7,000kms of its core road network, the department has moved to development of road maintenance plans derived from real-time road condition information. With the implementation of this software, PWD has digitised 31,000km of road network along with capture & storage of inventory and condition data pertaining all roads, bridges & culverts.

iROADS enables PWD to develop road development and maintenance schemes based on traffic, road condition & climate information, enabling them to build a safe and resilient road network instead of making ad-hoc decisions.

Project Impact

Using a citizen feedback mobile app and iROADS, PWD saw a 99% improvement in reporting issues and an 83% reduction in waiting time. The department has moved to a road user-centric model, where road condition issues are captured by the public via the citizen mobile app (part of iROADS), and the department provides quick feedback to the citizens regarding planned actions.

The PWD4U Public Mobile app was launched by the Kerala PWD to ensure public participation in road asset management, and it helped in automated asset inspection & data collection. The app has so far been downloaded by 90,000 users since its launch in June 2021 and around 24,000 (as of September 2022) issues pertaining to road maintenance have been raised by the public, enabling quick and efficient PWD responses and resolutions -usually within three days.

The Payoff

 iROADS offers road agencies a web-based application that stores inventory and condition data on pavements, earthworks, footpaths, streetlights, drains, crash barriers, road furniture, bridges and culverts within the right of way. By analyzing the programme within iROADS, road agencies are able to develop maintenance schemes for all assets based on the degree of deterioration and climate change challenges.

Since the recent implementations in India and the UK, iROADS has become even better equipped for road management with innovative functionalities to improve user experience and product capabilities. New features have been rolled out at a bigger scale than earlier iterations – the application now allows more users and larger data volumes; it also boasts of faster performance in addition to better connectivity and real-time sensor data integration from live camera feeds or AI-generated object detection data.

The improved application can now underpin the full integration of any spatial data that customers want to use within the system and simultaneously support all major spatial file formats. With its easy user interface, users don’t need any prior expertise in using spatial data.

John Proust, TRL Software’s Product Owner for iROADS

Elaborating on the application, John Proust, TRL Software’s Product Owner for iROADS, remarked,“ The customers can bring new datasets to use alongside all the other asset data that iROADS already handles. By mapping the data into real-world situations, road authorities can chart the locations of schools, hospitals, or petrol stations, and prioritise maintenance on routes to those locations. They could also bring in flood -risk zone maps to understand which parts of their road network are most at risk, he added. He identified data as the driver of effective management and envisaged iROADS ultimately generating maximum value from data for customers and enabling them to benefit directly from new technologies.”

The public can now be active participants in road management by giving real-time prompts on road infrastructure issues by using the iROADS Public Mobile App. Furthermore, using the feature of Survey Route Builder, users can plot road maintenance and monitoring routes that can be collated with asset surveyors (whether in-house or contracted) for better outcomes, making the update beneficial to all stakeholders working on road networks.

The software also has improved mapping display responsiveness – a more streamlined interface and simpler integration with external systems through Open APIs (Application Programme Interfaces). Moreover, New Data Staging and Change Tracking features give administrators greater control over data coming into the system and provide a full audit trail. These novel features let users visualise, combine, and analyse data with graph representation in a live execution environment which will pave way for better applications and added advantages.

Subu Kamal, Head of Product Management

Stressing the merits of the revamped application, Subu Kamal, Head of Product Management, said, “Users will experience ease in asset management since the additions are aimed to eliminate the challenges that customers faced around high costs and dated technologies that do not scale. TRL crafted a digital solution that is simpler, fully scalable, and truly global – meeting the needs of different customer segments from the US to the UK and India to Australia. In fact, TRL’s Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) uses integrated intelligent camera feeds and object-detection data within iROADS to leverage new capabilities related to real-time sensor and asset data usage.”

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