Tracker places road quality in the spotlight
Over the last three years, Tracker has collaborated with specialists from the Civil Engineering Department in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria, to understand if the rich feed of sensor data from Tracker telematics devices can be effectively utilised to determine the quality of roads across South Africa.
Tracker processes around 37-million messages into its database, via sensor transactions, on a daily basis, from its one million active subscriptions.
Professor Wynand Steyn, head of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Pretoria, describes the research as ground-breaking and believes that it has the potential to disrupt traditional approaches in the industry. “This research definitely has the potential to make a huge contribution to industries that offer certain services in the road-transport arena.”
Michael du Preez, executive for product innovation and marketing at Tracker, says: “Tracker is confident that the Tracker Road Condition Service will improve road safety and comfort for all road users.
“This service will inform customers about the condition of a specific road, and warn them timeously about potential road hazards like potholes and other road anomalies. Tracker plans to use this information to enhance its route-planning feature.”
Du Preez is confident that the Tracker Road Condition Service will offer significant benefits to transport enterprises, specifically those that focus on transporting sensitive goods and products, where Tracker can recommend alternative routes to prevent damage to fragile cargo, while at the same time making a positive impact on the cost of maintaining the vehicles.
The Tracker Road Condition Service could also benefit road agencies and authorities that are responsible for maintaining the country’s road infrastructure, as they will now have access to more frequent updates on road conditions across the South Africa road network. They will be able to utilise this input for more effective planning and scheduling of road maintenance.
Tracker has a global patent application pending on this product and has engaged with the relevant partners on its commercialisation. Release of the first version of the service is planned for the first quarter of 2017.