Look: RTA uses laser technology to ensure Dubai roads are free of cracks, potholes; wins international award

This high-tech innovation cuts field inspection time by up to 400 per cent and increases data accuracy to 97 per cent

By Web Desk

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Published: Tue 9 May 2023, 9:11 AM

This is not a scene from a sci-fi or superhero movie; this is real-life technology used by Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Have you ever spotted this ultra-high-tech beam tailing an RTA vehicle? It's actually laser technology that gathers road surface condition data and plays a huge role in enhancing operational efficiencies, a top RTA official said.

It cuts field inspection time by up to 400 per cent and increases accuracy of automated inspection data to 97 per cent compared to previous surveying and automated examination, according to Maitha bin Adai, CEO of the RTA Traffic and Roads Agency.

This particular innovation — called the Pavement Maintenance Management System (PMMS) — recently won the RTA an international award. The authority received the Brandon Hall Excellence Award 2022 under the 'Business Future — 'Best Advance in Assessment and Survey Technology category'.

How it works

The RTA's PMMS project is a comprehensive automated system for assessing roads condition.

"It is tailored to track and examine paving layers for all types of roads, record the current pavement condition, and identify damages that occur in the paving layers during the operational cycle of paving, including data related to the date of construction, operational status, and maintenance procedures," Bin Adai explained.

Pavements are regularly checked and maintained to ensure they remain in excellent condition and that they meet the requirements for the safety and comfort of road users. With the PMMS, the RTA was able to automate these regular inspections.

It is noted that Dubai’s Road Facilities Construction Condition Index scored 95 per cent in 2022, according to the functional and structural assessment conducted by the Traffic & Roads Agency.

The assessment aimed to identify surface damage such as cracks, subsidence, potholes and loosening in the surfaces of asphalt pavements. This was represented by the pavement quality index and the driving comfort level or road ruggedness using advanced laser equipment.


Bridge maintenance

Besides the Brandon Hall recognition, the RTA was also named a winner in the Gulf Sustainability Awards 2022 Award for its Bridge Maintenance Management System (BMMS) project.

The BMMS is a comprehensive system that manages and maintains the infrastructure of bridges while also tracking and managing various bridge-related data about location, lifecycle, condition, and maintenance history.

"Furthermore, the system enables the creation of maintenance plans that prioritise tasks based on risk-based and predictive maintenance of the bridge's condition,” Bin Adai said.

The system works on optimal planning of maintenance costs over the next four years for multiple options of maintenance works while keeping assets at the highest operational efficiency. It contributed to enhancing data accuracy by 95% compared to traditional methods by entering field inspection data using tablets connected directly to the system to speed up inspection work.

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