INDIANAPOLIS — If you're driving the streets of Carmel, you may come across this unusual-looking vehicle.
It's a new way to determine what roads need to be fixed and could save taxpayer dollars in the process. The technology is called StreetScan and it allows for a more precise snapshot of what roads need to be updated.
"There has been concerns about why is one neighborhood is getting repaved and mine isn't when our neighborhood is older than the other one etcetera,” said Sue Finkam, a Carmel City Councilor. “So, the reason we are really excited about this technology is it provides an objective view to rating the conditions of the street. "
The technology does that by censor and cameras. It takes six pictures a second when the driver is making their way throughout each area of the city.
Carmel has over 49 square miles and over 500 lane miles that need to be surveyed yearly. This technology also takes away the potential for human error.
"Currently the process is that our street department's snowplow drivers go from neighborhood to neighborhood because they are very familiar with the area,” Finkam said. “They evaluate the roads and they kind of do this windshield survey so to speak. But, it does lend itself to some inconsistency among drivers and so this allows a very objective view."
Once all of the data and pictures are captured it is processed through artificial intelligence and then puts it in to a streamlined network that will give city officials access to road conditions across the city. However, this technology also allows for the city to factor in other aspects as well.
"The system also allows them to add in other variables you know like proximity to schools (and) proximity to hospitals. They can isolate neighborhoods or different city council district or what have you,” Bill Eddy, a Sales Manager at StreetScan said. “There is the ability to really add in other variables that might be important to a particular municipality versus just purely the roadway condition. "
On top of that, the city said it can also save taxpayer dollars.
"We potentially don't have to repave the entire section of a street but maybe just address a particular pavement defect and it also allows us to plan better with future budget dollars," Finkam said.