The ongoing deterioration of roads from the wear and tear of traffic reduces driving comfort and economic efficiency. Repairs of this part of social infrastructure must therefore be timely. Specialist vehicles and workers are commonly used to inspect roads in Japan, but these vehicles cannot operate on narrow roads, while manual measurements can be costly.
Ricoh developed a camera system that be mounted on standard vehicles to evaluate road surfaces. Multiple stereo cameras can measure the rate of cracks, the rutting depth, and flatness in a single pass. It is thus possible to check roads that are inaccessible to specialist vehicles. Another benefit is the automation of everything from capturing images to producing inspection records, efficiently enhancing road safety maintenance. Developing this system has enabled Ricoh to resolve such social issues as aging infrastructure and labor shortages.