Milk trucks do the job
Connectivity is widely regarded as one of the pillars of mobility for the future. Vehicles that are constantly connected open up opportunities for improving road maintenance as can be seen from examples ranging from Finland to Kenya.
Every day the milk producer Valio has over one hundred milk trucks on Finnish roads. Each truck covers around 275 000 km a year and their drivers are therefore perfectly placed to keep an eye on road conditions. In a pilot project between Valio, the Finnish Transport Agency and the IT consultancy Tieto this idea was put to use.
The milk trucks’ mobile information system was adapted to allow drivers to report various kinds of damage on the roads, from potholes to flooding and fallen trees and the exact location of the damage. This resulted in the transport agency being able to act more quickly and therefore avoid further deterioration and more extensive repair works.
A possible development would be to fit the milk trucks with cameras or sensors to do part of the monitoring automatically. These methods have been used with garbage trucks in various locations, including the UK and Kenya.