WDM highlighting how they “do miracles” around the world | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

WDM highlighting how they “do miracles” around the world

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The Bristol-based survey company WDM is warning highways authorities that autonomous vehicles will only be able to properly function if road surfaces and marking are of a high enough standard.

It’s showing off its specially adapted Road Assessment Vehicle (RAV) at Intertraffic Amsterdam, which uses laser technology to record defects on roads, and identify early signs of potholes, by taking a picture of the highway every two millimetres, identifying any cracking or rutting that requires attention.  The data collected is used to prioritise maintenance work by highways engineers.

“We’re harnessing technology to produce a higher level of survey work because that’s what our clients need,” manager Jon Day told Smart Highways editor Paul Hutton during set-up at the event.  “With autonomous vehicles on the horizon, we know already that vehicles are going to be operated by a computer so it’s even more important that the road surface and the tyres on the vehicles interact properly… otherwise it’ll be unsafe so even greater emphasis on the need to survey regularly.”
In the interview which you can listen to below, he also explains how WDM is another British export success story, adding to its established business in New Zealand by breaking into the US market, “since we were last at Intertraffic, we’ve now got SCRIM [its Sideway-force Coefficient Routine Investigation Machine which tests skid resistance] in America,” Day explains.  “It’s being operated by Virginia Tech it’s being used in half a dozen different states, the testing is going extremely well. We’re hoping it’ll be adopted by the Federal Highways agency and save a lot of lives.  In New Zealand we’ve been able to help them reduce skid-related fatalities by 40%.  They have 20,000 skid-related fatalities in America, so if we can reduce by anything near that same level of figure you’ll see the number of lives that can be saved.”
You can listen to the interview below, starting with Jon Day answering the question “what does WDM stand for?”

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