This system has been designed specifically for roadway marking inspection and archival of roadway markings and roadway mark path locations. Using real time kinematics (RTK) enhanced GPS-based location and machine vision technologies, governmental agencies, engineering firms and transportation departments now have the ability to accurately locate and record the location of roadway marks and perform quality control inspection tasks at highway speeds. Inspection criteria include dimensional mark accuracy (line width and line length), cycle length, contrast reflectivity (mark presence) between the line and the immediate surrounding roadway surface, lane widths, line area fill/percentage wear, total line feet recorded, line straightness, and line definition, and other anomalies. This is the perfect system for automatically managing roadway marking assets.
The Lifemark™-200 accurately locates the GPS position of each roadway mark and automatically inspects each marking using a combination of GPS and machine vision technologies. Locating and inspecting each roadway mark is accomplished at highway speeds using only a single operator/driver safely seated within a vehicle. Roadway inspection crews are eliminated thereby increasing inspection efficiency, decreasing labor costs and improving worker’s safety.
During the locating and inspection process, the operator positions the vehicle within the traffic lane and a GPS reference location is then computed. The operator then begins to move the vehicle within the traffic lane. Industrial high speed cameras mounted on each side of the vehicle sequentially sample marking images on the left (driver) and right (passenger) sides of the moving vehicle.
With each image a GPS location and time tag is computed, along with an image index number. The actual roadway marking images, GPS location, time tag and associated image index number are then stored in computer memory for further analysis. Both the recording and storage of left and right vehicle side roadway marking images and associated location and time data is completed in real-time as the vehicle travels within the traffic lane. Additionally, the GPS position of each marking and the mark paths are computed. All of this data is stored within a searchable database.
The inspection process begins with a defined set of quality control criteria selected by the operator. For example, the operator may decide to search a chosen roadway’s database and select those markings whose nominal length are 10 feet (+/- 3 inches) and whose nominal width are 4 inches (+/- 1/8”). Nominal values along with their respective tolerances can be specified as part of the quality control criteria.
Boolean constructions (AND, OR, NOT) are additionally supported. For example, the operator may choose to search for those markings having a length of 10 feet (+/- 3 inches) AND whose marking width is 4 inches (+/- 1/8”) AND having a fill ratio less than 75%. A report is generated which lists the index number of the image, the actual marking image, the quality control criteria of the roadway marking along with the respective GPS location. Roadway markings can now be inspected according to a set of quality control criteria. Those roadway markings not meeting the quality control criteria selected by the operator can be tagged and precisely located for remedial corrective action.
The Lifemark™-200 system consists of two vehicle mounted environmentally protected industrial cameras for imaging roadway markings, a GPS locating system employing RTK technology, an industrial computer for calculating both the GPS location of each image and the original roadway mark path location, and a quality control inspection program. Additional programming services are available for generating customer-specific quality control reports.