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Automated and robotics-based techniques. New solutions for road construction and maintenance

Exploitable results

The project aimed at exploring the potential for introducing automated and robotics-based technology in road infrastructure construction and maintenance (RICM) operations in order to reduce their execution cost improving simultaneously or at least without adversely affecting the conditions of safety, work quality, road user cost and non-road user cost. In parallel, the working conditions must be improved taking into consideration the losses in the number of jobs that these innovations may cause. New techniques applied either to new construction work or rehabilitation and maintenance work could reduce the cost at several levels. First at the task level, second at the operation level, third at the management of an entire road section construction where several operations are executed, finally at the upper level of managing and funding the entire RICM program. In this project, the basic objective is fulfilled at the operation level by integrating ART technologies within the RICM processes, and thus appropriately restructuring them. Regarding the assessment carried out between conventional and ART scenario RICM operations interesting results came up. Specifically, the road authorities could benefit the most from the use of ART. The road constructors could benefit from the lower cost and the faster execution of the operation, in addition to the decrease of working accidents; however, depending on their scale and specialization they will experience varying levels of impacts. The labor force faces conflicting impacts, since compensation between better working conditions and lesser availability of jobs will be the consequence of using ART. Because the labor force is not a homogenous group but comprises a versatile of interests, the stand, that every working group will take towards that development depends on the qualifications its members possess and the type of work that are assigned. Finally, the road-users and non-road users will experience benefits varying according to the traffic circumstances that prevail in the greater area of the work site.