– This is a much better system for finding faults in handrails. This will enable us to have better control over the condition of our handrails. By documenting from the new technology, we can implement measures when needed, says chief engineer Bård Nonstad at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration for TV 2.
It’s about an invention that has truly revolutionized the control of railings – or guardrails as some call them – along our roads. The company behind it is called iSi in Åndalsnes, and they came up with the idea in 2019 when they created a computerized solution for reporting inspections for steel contractor Arvid Gjerde.
Together with balustrade contractors, we have seen that it can be controlled in a more efficient way. NTNU got involved, and we received support from Innovation Norway to develop a digital railway inspection solution, Husøy told TV 2.
The solution is a three-camera camera device installed on the back of a private car. Three high-resolution images are taken for each meter of the fence and uploaded to a computer program, where artificial intelligence detects errors and deviations. Besides the exact GPS location, the image with exact position errors is displayed on the map.
– We took huge amounts of pictures of the fence and trained the tool to detect faults and deviations, Hassawi says.
Along more than 10,000 km of national roads in Norway, there are more than 7,000 km of fence. They are there to prevent serious injuries when driving downhill, while the central traction units also serve to prevent dangerous meeting accidents. There are many errors:
In 2019, an average of three deviations per 100 metres were found.
Manual inspections are time-consuming and particularly challenging on the high-traffic road network, says Bård Nonstad of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
So far, the scan has been done entirely manually and is quite expensive. According to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, the cost of the former railway inspection is between 16 and 17 million. The required manual check of up to three people, was conducted at a speed of 10-15 km/h in accordance with the instructions of the Norwegian Public Road Administration and using its own safety car, the so-called cushion car, to prevent dangerous situations in the most crowded places. The road network.
– We made sure to conduct the check at the normal speed so that one could maintain the speed limit and not be an obstacle to traffic while we were driving for an iron shoot, Hassawy explains.
Does the system detect any errors?
– In the tests, we found many errors such as manual check. Hosui believes the goal is to detect more than 90 percent of defects in the handrails while getting the job done more efficiently and safely in terms of traffic.
How unique is this invention?
– So far, we are the only ones in Scandinavia who have worked with her. Nor do we know that others have a solution like this, says Farid Hassawi.
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration appreciates this. They now hope that the task can be solved digitally with automated checks at nearly normal driving speed, thus saving time and money, and with better data quality.
– We hope to be able to score all of our railings with this new technology during this year. As of today, iSi is the only supplier we know of that offers such a solution, says Nonstad Chief Engineer for TV 2.
This ultimately relates to traffic safety in practice.
– Bård Nonstad says it is very important for traffic safety that handrails are in good condition and working as they should.
“Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst.”