The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) and the NSW Roads and Maritime Services Agency (RMS) have entered into an agreement for ARRB’s Intelligent Safe Surface Assessment Vehicle (iSSAVe) to be used in New South Wales.
The iSSAVe is set to replace RMS’ ageing skid resistance machine, the SCRIM, which has been in operation since 1994.
The iSSAVe will initially be used on a trial basis as RMS operators learn how to get the best out of the new platform and modify their operating procedures to suit the new equipment. It follows a successful small scale trial in October.
“RMS intends to utilise the advanced positioning information available on the iSSAVe to build a fully automated pipeline for the data from the vehicle directly into our asset management systems,” RMS Principal Manager – Road Asset Information David Svolos said.
“Additionally, the more accurate positioning will allow better year on year comparison and analysis of the collected skid resistance data,” he said.
The iSSAVe reportedly offers many new and improved features over the previous generation SCRIM, which has covered nearly two million kilometres over its life surveying NSW’s road network.
The iSSAVe, according to ARRB, is used to measure wet skid resistance of defined sections of road surface across a network in both wheel paths to help ensure that an appropriate level of ‘grip’ is provided throughout. This vehicle reportedly supports positive road safety outcomes, where it is intended to be used in high-demand areas such as approaches to traffic signals, pedestrian crossings, tight curves – where vehicles are typically required to brake and accelerate.
ARRB Systems explain that a controlled flow of water wets the road surface immediately in front of the iSSAVe test wheel, and the system collects continuously for up to 300kms of data at a time (single wheelpath testing). “The measuring wheel is set at a 20-degree angle to the forward movement of the vehicle with a known applied load. The sideways force generated by this activity is directly related to the wet skid resistance of the road surface. Being integrated into the Hawkeye platform allows for the inclusion of additional data collection sensors. Along with the collection of wet skidding resistance, the iSSAVe is fitted with sensors capable of collecting: roughness (IRI), rutting, macrotexture (MPD and SMTD), geometry (slope, crossfall, gradient), asset inventory imaging and GPS and distance.”
ARRB Systems said that the ISSAVe is also fitted with dynamic monitoring of vertical load, continuous tyre pressure monitoring, dynamic speed-controlled water system, ambient air temperature monitoring and tyre temperature monitoring.
ARRB is delighted to be working with RMS in implementing the iSSAVe, Richard Wix, ARRB’s Principal Professional Leader, Strategic Enablers Group said.
“We look forward to implementing this new technology with our partners at RMS,” he said. “We’re really happy to help Australian road agencies better manage their road networks in terms of their safety by measuring skid resistance and other safety related parameters using the iSSAVe.”