UDOT testing AI-powered road maintenance tracking technology

The Utah company behind the tech hopes to roll it out nationwide
Posted at 9:26 AM, May 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-31 01:11:02-04

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — If there's an issue with a road, you usually report it over the phone or by using an app, but now the Salt Lake City-based tech company Blyncsy says it wants to make the process more automated.

Payver is a software platform made by Blyncsy that uses machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to map roads and give feedback on things that need to be fixed or removed.

Mark Pittman, the Founder and CEO of Blyncsy said, "We basically get a continuous random cluster of images across these roads and then we get them again, and again, and again until we have enough images to see every section of every roadway."

The company says it works with one of the largest providers of in-vehicle dash cameras to buy and collect anonymized images of roads.

The software takes those images and does two things: It catalogs existing objects in the images and looks for changes over time.

An example of what it looks out for is fading lines on the roads, construction barrels, road debris, potholes, and missing road signs.

John Gleason, a Public Information Officer for the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) said, "A pilot program like this is just one of many ways that we’re looking to potentially improve the situation on our roads."

UDOT will take the information from Blyncsy and use it to improve roads across the state.

With the Utah pilot program, Payver will only be tracking striping visibility and construction barrels.

If it's adopted after the six-month pilot more things will be tracked by the Payver system.

"Ultimately the goal is to have real-time situational awareness of our transportation system so that if there’s a sign that’s been knocked down, we can instantly know if there’s striping that needs to be repaired, or replace guard rail, things like that," said Gleason.

This can help transportation departments prioritize where money needs to be spent first as well as save money on sending crews to survey roads for problems that need fixing.

Blyncsy is also working with California and New Mexico's departments of transportation on separate pilot programs in the coming weeks.