Ming Wang, professor of civil and environmental engineering
Wang and his team are integrating patented sensing technology and Big Data analytics in a breakthrough project that could transform any delivery fleet, such as the U.S. Postal Service’s, into a fully automated, real-time road inspection system.
Under Wang’s lead, the federally funded VOTERS (Versatile Onboard Traffic Embedded Roaming Sensors) project has already developed a prototype vehicle. Its onboard computer collects multi-sensor data about highway and bridge conditions, from the surface down to a depth of one meter. The computer transmits the readings wirelessly to a control center, where more powerful computers linked to electronic maps analyze and visualize the information.
Wang says VOTERS technology will pinpoint existing and impending structural defects in roadways and gauge bridge resilience to manmade and natural disasters—without causing the traffic tie-ups that go with time-consuming manual inspections. And transportation planners will be able to time maintenance work to actual need.