Road markings are an important safety element on our highways. TRL has developed the MarkingCollector, a technology that measures with pinpoint accuracy the condition of the markings from a vehicle travelling with the normal traffic flow.
For drivers, the visibility of the road markings is crucial because they not only show lane delineation but they also provide advance information about what lies ahead. This includes the direction the road is taking, where entry and exit junctions are located, where overtaking is not permitted and helpful information such as speed limits. The ability of the markings to deliver this information to drivers is dependent on their condition. TRL’s MarkingCollector measures both the retroreflectivity performance of the marking, which is critical for night-time visibility, and the amount of erosion of the markings footprint.
Research by TRL has enabled the mechanisms that cause unrepeatability in existing road marking condition measurement devices to be better understood. This has led to the introduction of novel concepts and advanced technology in the design of the MarkingCollector. As a result, high levels of repeatability in the measurements from MarkingCollector have been achieved and TRL believes that the year-on-year degradation of the markings can now be monitored for the first time. This will lead to cost savings because it will allow predictive maintenance schedules to be adopted, targeting only areas where condition is heading towards unacceptable levels, rather than fixed schedule replacement regardless of condition.
MarkingCollector is able to function from the centre of the lane and simultaneously measure the condition of the lane makings on both sides of the vehicle whilst operating day or night at speeds up to 120kph. A fully operational preproduction prototype was demonstrated publicly in November 2014 and 2015 sees the launch of the MarkingCollector for sale to survey contractors and for commissioned surveys by TRL.
The MarkingCollector demonstrates a significant advance in the ability to safely measure road markings at traffic speed with no disruption to other vehicles. It can be integrated with other measurement equipment, either provided by third parties or by TRL, including the TRL DataCollector and TRL ImageCollector.