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The Age: The Penguin Road Patrol

Aug 11, 2003, 10:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Varghese)

[ Thanks to Laurence Griffiths for this link. ]

"When Pavement Management Services, the Melbourne franchise of a Sydney outfit, was granted a contract by VicRoads to carry out the annual survey of the road network in September last year, the company's owner, Rishi Viner, decided that the time was right to begin doing the surveys using video technology.

"Until then the survey, which covers half of the state's 22,000-km road network each year, had been done by a two-man team driving at 20kmph, with the driver calling out the defects and the passenger jotting things down. It was an arduous procedure that took a long time, posed dangers to other traffic and pretty expensive to boot...

"What Viner and his team have ended up with today is a system that uses Linux to run five video cameras from the same kind of van used as an ambulance. It is all done at a speed ranging from 80kmph to 100kmph. The cost of the annual survey has, in the process, fallen from $1.2 million to $850,000. And the system which was devised has so far generated about 1.3 terabytes of video footage with few problems..."

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