The application of consistent, reliable information is a key component of highway asset management. However, the tools to understand asset performance have developed rapidly over the last decade. These include asset surveys, intelligent infrastructure monitoring, crowd sourcing, remote sensing, data analytics and visualisation. However, their potential is not yet being fully exploited within the highway environment. By bringing these components of sensing and measurement together we could better understand highway assets and improve reactive and proactive decisions.
This paper discusses the tools now available to understand the performance of highway assets. It explores their current and future capabilities, the benefits they bring, and the possibilities that could be achieved through their application within an integrated toolkit.
Whilst these tools are not in themselves “new”, a key objective of the paper has been to highlight their emerging capabilities, bring awareness to highway asset managers, and encourage their take up. Increased application will inevitably lead to further development in capability and, importantly, accessibility.
There are a number of challenges to overcome to draw full value from these technologies. These include the technical, commercial, and social barriers that influence development and accessibility. The paper discusses actions that could help overcome these, which are presented within the context of a roadmap to the implementation of an integrated toolkit. The roadmap is not definitive - it aims to stimulate further thinking, debate and discussion.The effective management of infrastructure assets is essential to deliver a clean, efficient, safe, reliable and accessible network. A joined up and collaborative approach will help the community achieve the benefits of the integrated toolkit that will help asset managers achieve this.