Posti and technology company Vaisala are working together on a service that will build up a picture of the conditions on Finland’s roads, using data gathered by Posti vehicles during their mail delivery routes.
The Posti vehicles will be equipped with cameras as well as sensors and Artificial Intelligence (AI) software from Vaisala.
In a statement issued today (27 June), Posti said: “The data collected includes, among other things, surface damage to streets and roads, road conditions and road weather analyses, as well as mapping and monitoring of road markings. In the future, data can be collected about many other sites along the delivery route, such as the conditions of traffic signs and electricity poles, as well as the external conditions of electricity and telecommunications boxes.”
Tommi Pekkala, who is responsible for Posti’s Street Data Services, commented: “An up-to-date situational picture increases the efficiency of road maintenance, which, in turn, promotes the flow and safety of traffic and helps to reduce personal injuries and property damage. In addition, the data collected in connection with delivery work makes it possible to develop smart solutions in which the data is also sent to residents and people on the road.”
Pekkala added: “The comprehensiveness and timeliness of the situational picture is based on Posti’s nationwide delivery network. Our delivery and transport vehicles travel on the roads of Finland every day, often many times a day, so we can produce data very efficiently and on a broad scale. Because the data is collected in connection with normal delivery, the work does not increase the need to drive. In fact, it reduces the environmental load. The service can replace inspection rounds and visits currently carried out by customers.”
Markus Melander, Head of Business Development, Computer Vision Solutions, responsible for developing the RoadAI service at Vaisala, added: “The operating model and its development into a service are an excellent way to produce up-to-date traffic condition and road network data for use by cities, for example. Nationwide data is valuable when connected to infrastructure asset management, situational awareness and winter maintenance processes. The data obtained from the service are also useful for traffic management. Our goal is that the situational picture service will be able to accelerate the digitalization development of cities.
“We have already gained experience in Espoo, for example, where data for road network maintenance and traffic safety development have been collected as part of a smart city project that started last November.
“In May, Posti and Vaisala also began road network condition mapping in Imatra. The goal is to expand the operations to several Finnish cities this year.”