Scottish IoT project aims to keep rural roads pothole-free

Scotland’s IoT project aims to keep rural roads pothole-free
A consortium of research partners in Scotland is helping to tackle persistent challenges facing Britain’s transport infrastructure with the development of an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network to provide real-time monitoring of rural road conditions.

DigiFlec, a Dunfermline-based start-up, is working with CENSIS – Scotland’s innovation center for sensors, imaging and IoT technologies – and Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) as part of the Scottish Government’s CivTech 6 Accelerator Program to create a digital . interface for managing the transport network.

The initiative combines digital mapping of the road network with IoT-enabled sensors deployed to capture live data on the condition of the FLS road network. The data includes measured temperatures, road moisture and possible blockage of culverts.

The FLS has a 10,000 mile road network covering some of the most remote areas of Scotland, most of which are unsealed roads which can be vulnerable when wet and prone to flooding. Accurate information about real-time conditions will enable better decisions about road use at certain times. IoT sensors have so far been deployed at test sites on Blairadam and Auchineden roads to collect and relay road information.

The data will be integrated into a digital interface that will display real-time data as well as any long-term changes in road conditions. This allows for a better maintenance schedule and, last but not least, provides better awareness of the factors that influence roadway deterioration, allowing decisions to be made to prevent excessive damage and better allocate resources for repairs and upgrades.