City of Detroit Taps Israeli Company to Analyze Pavement Conditions

Israel’s Tactile Mobility and the city of Detroit have partnered to conduct a proof of concept that aims to improve Detroit’s pavement conditions and optimize maintenance.
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Tactile Mobility map of Detroit roads
Tactile Mobility and the city of Detroit are partnering to analyze Detroit’s roads and optimize maintenance plans. // Image courtesy of Tactile Mobility

Israel’s Tactile Mobility and the city of Detroit have partnered to conduct a proof of concept that aims to improve Detroit’s pavement conditions and optimize maintenance.

Organized and supported by a PlanetM grant, the parties are demonstrating Tactile’s in-vehicle software and insights ability to provide an objective, up to date, and accurate road pavement rating mapping solution.

The one-year proof of concept soon will come to a close. It was designed to demonstrate that Detroit’s road conditions can be measured continuously and accurately using Tactile’s software through a pavement rating score on a 10-grade scale for each road segment, where each grade implies corresponding maintenance activities.

“With the continued development of connected vehicles and infrastructure, this project creates an opportunity for us to be more technologically advanced and data-driven in how we maintain and invest in our roads and overall infrastructure,” says Sam Krassenstein, transportation and infrastructure advisor of the city.

The solution will provide automated analysis results, which will provide insights about road safety and allow road authorities and communities to prioritize preventative maintenance planning.

Tactile offers software-based tactile sensing and data solutions. The solutions are comprised of an in-vehicle module residing on one of the vehicle’s computers and the cloud-based system. The system generates insights measuring vehicle-road dynamics with an emphasis on characterizing road conditions such as grades, banks, curvatures, slipperiness, and the locations of distresses.

The software serves as a mapping layer that offers a near real-time view of the road network to support maintenance, live hazard detection, and post-accident analysis. It will be added to 20 vehicles owned by Detroit’s Department of Public Works, which will act like probes as they drive around the city.

The city of Detroit manages and maintains thousands of miles of roadway within its municipal boundaries and is working toward adopting solutions that identify roadway surface conditions in a timely and effective manner.

“The results of this POC have proven to be successful,” says Yagil Tzur, vice president of product at Tactile. “The high correlation between Tactile Mobility’s pavement rating and current standards exceeded the city of Detroit’s needs and satisfaction. Equipped with tactile technology, Detroit and other cities alike can detect areas of slipperiness such as ice, water, or additional weather-related elements in real time and transmit the information to control centers that will alert drivers before reaching such suspected areas. This is the first step towards a full suite of solutions that will provide insights about maintenance and road safety.”

Tactile was founded in 2012 and is working with OEMs, road authorities, and municipalities. It has a presence in Europe, the U.S., and Asia.

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