09 Apr, 2024

With the help of XAIS Asset Management, London Borough of Barnet is combining cutting edge imaging technology with artificial intelligence (AI) to transform the way it stores and analyses data about the condition of its footpaths and cycleways.

This innovative asset management approach revolves around the use of MAVIS – which stands for Mapping and Visual Imaging Scooter. MAVIS is a battery-powered mobility scooter that that has been specially adapted with the latest hi-definition image and mapping technology to provide accurate and valuable data on a range of assets.

MAVIS travelled across Barnet’s network, surveying just over 1500km of footway using a GNSS/INS system and 360° panoramic camera to continuously record high-definition panoramic imagery, orthophotos and GPS data – capturing asset and condition data in unrivalled detail.

Intelligent data analysis

This rich data was then processed using cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) to detect, measure and highlight defects.

Special consideration and input into the machine learning means the AI analysis is tailored to footway requirements – so it was able to pick up UK Pavement Management System (UKPMS) comparable defects, highlighting cracking and possible movement of surfaces, identifying fretting and recommending cutback where the footway is overgrown for example.

With analysis complete, the data was then uploaded and accessible via the authority’s XA© Asset Management System to further review defects, measure distances or patches and examine photography to identify any issues that need to be resolved.

Scheme building capabilities

Using this information, the XA© Asset Management System was tailored to generate and prioritise scheme lengths based on the number of defects.

Each of these scheme lengths was then validated and adjusted as required using the high-definition up-to-date imagery captured by MAVIS during the survey – avoiding reliance on out-of-date images and any additional site visits by a surveyor.

As a result of the automated AI defect extraction, scheme analysis and validation using the high-definition imagery, an approximate £3 million footway maintenance programme for 2024/25 was generated.

Making an impact

A spokesperson for Barnet Council’s Highways team said: “We’re always looking for new ways to work more effectively and maximise available budgets so this AI-powered footway solution was a very interesting opportunity for us. MAVIS can get so close to the footway and undertake comprehensive surveys very quickly. The wealth of high-quality visual information and detailed AI analysis is a powerful combination. It is clearly helping our teams work faster with even more confidence in our decision-making.

“There are other accompanying benefits too. By using the latest imaging technology and AI in this way we can reduce our environmental impact, improve accessibility, allocate available funds in the most effective way and, perhaps most important of all, improve the safety of local residents as they move around the network.”

Following the successful use of MAVIS in 2023, the solution is already scheduled to support the London Borough of Barnet’s team with upcoming survey requirements in the next financial year.

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