£2m AI Project To Analyse State Of Britain’s Roads

Mon 22nd Jul 2019

The UK Government is using artificial intelligence technology to assess up to 96,000 miles of local roads to identify areas of improvement.

The Department for Transport is working with the Local Condition Roads Innovation Group and tech start-up Gaist to look at 146 million HD images of roads to decide which roads are most in need of investment.

Poor quality road markings will be targeted by the project, and the technology will also be used to survey both pavements and the National Cycle Network. Road markings in particular are a priority as the poor state of them lead to larger problems on the road network.

“Road markings play a vital role in keeping everyone who is using the road safe, so making sure they’re up to standard is imperative,” said Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling.
“This funding will allow for advanced AI learning technology to assess the condition of the markings to improve the safety of our roads for all users.”
The news will be a huge boost for local road users, coming off the back of last week’s news that the DfT has pledged £348million for local road repairs. The AI project spend is in addition to that boost.

Paula Claytonsmith, managing director of Gaist, added: “We are using over 146 million HD road images from our national databank and cutting-edge AI technology to assess over 96,000 miles of classified roads as part of this project.

“This is the largest exercise in assessing road marking readiness ever undertaken in England. Gaist are proud to have the AI capability that puts an SME UK business at the forefront of technological advances.”