By: Laura Keil
Ever wondered how the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure monitors the thousands of km of paved highways in the province?
An Fugro Roadware ARAN is a modified vehicle that carries an extensive set of sensors (including laser reflectometers, ultrasonic sensors, accelerometers, global positioning systems, gyroscopes, video and machine vision systems) and computers, along with other advanced subsystems. The Aran helps provide information to the BC government about roadways and intersections, including their condition and the location of specific features and faults. Roads are analyzed every few years and repairs are prioritized based on the information collected.
According to a US traffic technology website, an ARAN is capable of measuring up to 15 different data items in a single pass, with very high accuracy. This data can be collected continuously, at traffic speeds from 15 mph up to highway speeds. Some of the information that can be collected includes: The ride quality of the roadway; The wearing of the roadway in the wheel paths (rutting); The grade and cross-slope of the roadway; video imagery of the pavement and right-of-way imagery; precise locations; and faulting of concrete pavements.