Insight Autonomy offers a suite of solutions to help municipalities discover, inventory, and track roadway defects and hazards in real time. By equipping a city’s fleet of maintenance vehicles (or any city vehicle) with Insight Autonomy’s City Insight recognition software, the Street Maintenance Manger will have the data needed to better serve roadway users.
Why is this important?
Maintaining ever expanding roadway networks has become a burdensome task for many municipalities. The size of the roadway network in the United States (US), for example, is massive. There are 4.1 million miles of navigable roadways in the United States. Of these, 3.2 million miles, or 78%, are the responsibility of local municipalities to maintain. So, what does this mean for the average city in the US?
The average large US city has 3,550 miles of paved roadways to inventory and repair. A sampling of some large city’s road networks size; Atlanta has approximately 1,330 miles of roadways, Dallas 3,400 miles, Houston 5,990 miles, Kansas City 3,190 miles, Los Angeles 4,680 miles, and Phoenix with 5,160 miles. These networks are so big that it would take you 3 days of driving nonstop at 45 miles per hour to see every road mile in Kansas City!
These massive networks require a lot of eyes to ensure they are being maintained to a high safety standard. Most municipalities across the US are responsible for damage caused by insufficiently maintained roadways. Even if municipality didn’t know of a road defect that led to a motorist’s vehicle damage, the municipality is responsible for compensation.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA):
In most states, as part of their duty, roadway agencies must keep streets open for travel and free from obstructions. The failure to do so is negligent road/street maintenance. So for example, shrubbery obstructing an intersection or tree limbs blocking a STOP sign in the street right-of-way can be considered to be negligence in failing to maintain the streets in reasonably safe condition.
The maintenance department should create a system that will document (1) the information coming into the department regarding street and sidewalk conditions; (2) the procedure used to prioritize the repair work according to the risk presented and (3) the action taken in making the repairs.
Liability for failure to correct a dangerous condition may be imposed even if the road agency did not have actual notice of the condition if they reasonably should have known about it. This is called “constructive notice.” The better and more complete the information regarding road and street condition, the less likely the issue of constructive notice is to arise. Routine inspection for the purpose of gathering information and identifying dangerous conditions can complement the records system mentioned earlier. A program of regular inspections should be designed and implemented; the inspections should be done as often as is reasonable under the circumstances.”
Keeping an accurate and up-to-date inventory of roadway defects to be addressed, using Insight Autonomy’s City Insight platform; can help municipalities maintain safer roads and protect against liability. But the benefits of Insight Autonomy’s City Insight offering don’t stop at just safer roads and lower liability risk, it can help cities save money.
As much as 10% of an average city’s budget is spent on road repair and maintenance. While this total percent is large for maintenance and repair, cities are overspending fixing troubled roads that should have been fixed earlier. According to the Cornell University Local Roads Program, $1 spent to keep a road in good condition can save spending $4-$5 in future repair costs. Other estimates peg these savings in the $5-$15 range, depending on geography.
By employing Insight Autonomy’s City Insight solution, cities can realize massive cost savings by addressing defects in their road networks as they occur. Having the ability to identify and catalog roadway problems sooner, cities will be able to deliver a safer road network for citizens and a greatly reduced cost.