New Solution for Visual Data Management at Construction Sites

Vaisala RoadAI Provides Significant Benefits
Markus Melander
Head of Business Development, Computer Vision Solutions
Jun 12, 2019
Road Weather

Vaisala RoadAI service developed to support data collection for road inspection

Modern tools can support organizations and the ways of working in performing better. Construction, particularly infrastructure construction, has been considered to be quite a traditional industry. Albeit, if one took a closer look, it would be clear that this is not the case anymore.

Vaisala RoadAI service is developed to support data collection for road inspection. However, RoadAI is now playing a bigger role as a situational awareness tool and documentation bank to track the progress of a project in one of the biggest construction sites in Finland. This is due to the fact the service has been evolving and gaining new features since day one, now enabling the users to use drone footage and 360 panoramas in addition to videos recorded manually and from a vehicle.

Vaisala Partners with Large Road Construction Project in Finland

On the Finnish national road 12, there is a large construction site that will improve the southern ring road around the city of Lahti. It was one of the largest infrastructure and road construction projects in Finland in 2018, and the construction phase is estimated to be ready in 2020. The project has been divided into three parts, of which one is being planned and implemented by Valtari alliance consisting of several organizations: Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTA), Hollola municipality, city of Lahti and a consortium formed by Skanska Infra Oy and Pöyry Finland Oy. 

According to Skanska, having a continuous and consistent information of the progress of the project  has proven to be challenging without visual material collected from the worksite in a usable format due to the size of the worksite. Also, the communication within the organization in worksite meetings has to rely on notes written down during site surveys. The physical distance between the partner companies and the worksite is quite long so visiting the site is time consuming.

How RoadAI Has Changed the Situation

The ability to collect photos and videos from the worksite has been possible for a while now, but the reason for not doing so has been the inability to utilize them in a feasible way. 

Valtari started using Vaisala RoadAI service during spring 2018. Since taking the RoadAI software tool into use in the current project, Valtari has been implementing completely new processes to improve communication and the flow of information. The key to these developments has been the ability to use RoadAI to collect and store all visual documentation in the RoadAI cloud and having it always available in a usable format to everyone in Valtari.

During the early phases of the project, Valtari adopted new processes to support communication and the flow of information. The first one was capturing aerial videos and panoramic photos along the construction site on a regular basis to get an updated view of the project’s progress. The second was using the RoadAI mobile application to capture the documentation of all safety inspections conducted to ensure temporary traffic systems are as planned and the way through those is safe for traffic. The safety inspector makes audio-visual notes to mark things that require corrective actions safely while driving. The inspector then compiles a report and assigns actions to field personnel.

Vaisala RoadAI Provides Significant Benefits  

The key benefit of RoadAI for Valtari is having all documentation and visual media available in one place via an effective and easily accessible online map-based user interface. The power of the RoadAI logic is that all media with location information can be accessed on the map having multiple ways to sort and filter data. In practice, RoadAI is used in weekly worksite meetings to visualize the current state of the project. The access to view the current as well as past state of the project with the use of aerial videos and panoramas makes the communication more effective.

RoadAI supports conveying information both within and outside the organization. There are responsibilities and expectations set by the buying side in the alliance, such as mandatory safety inspections. Traditionally, safety inspection notes are taken and consequent actions forwarded using manual and partly non-digital tools to combine information from different sources. Currently Skanska uses the RoadAI mobile application to document the whole inspection and to take notes, and then the map UI to create the action report with an efficient semi-automatic workflow. Reports are delivered to the buyer who can also verify all the data using shared access to the project. This process from the beginning to the end has been proven to make inspection reporting clear, transparent, and high quality.

In terms of verifying facts afterwards, Skanska highly values having all safety inspections and all regularly captured aerial media archived for the purposes of quality assurance and verification.

RoadAI makes project’s visual documentation easily available to everyone working on the project in a more efficient and productive way when a larger group of participants work together. Time savings achieved become substantial. In addition, the RoadAI mobile application enables effective and safe inspections. All features combined make RoadAI perfect for managing visual media and documentation in a road construction project.

Further information on Vaisala RoadAI service.
 

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