On 1 July 2022, NTRO Certification commenced a role as TfNSW’s independent certifier of roughness measurement devices, utilising the agency’s calibration loops at Gosford on the Central Coast of NSW.
Certification qualifies a device and operator combination to be accepted as a ride quality assurance tool on projects commissioned by TfNSW and is also given credence by TMR in Queensland for its projects.
The data output from device / operator combinations running the test loops is assessed against control data obtained at six-month intervals from runs conducted by one of NTRO Infrastructure Measurement’s reference devices. Statistical analysis undertaken determines whether the output from a device is within the specified tolerances and where this occurs, that device is said to be validated and receives a PASS certificate for the next 12-month period.
Mark Steidle, NTRO Certification’s Governance Manager, said “It is pleasing that TfNSW has shown confidence in NTRO Certification’s ability to operate on a fee for service arrangement as an independent external certifier. Importantly, this has only been possible given our distinguished standing and track record in Infrastructure Measurement (IM) over many years, where we have forged strong relationships with state road agencies and local Councils”.
While the current service relates only to devices measuring roughness and is focused on NSW, discussions are taking place regarding the establishment of calibration loops for devices measuring other road condition parameters and whether there is an appetite for working towards providing a wider network of such loops around Australia.
Richard Wix, NTRO’s Discipline Leader for Infrastructure Measurement, sees this next step as crucial to the on-going management and maintenance of road networks, including with the rapid emergence of vehicles with multiple data acquisition systems and sensors which continuously measure and report contemporaneous road condition data in real time.
“We are fast moving towards a world where every single vehicle using our roads is collecting information that enables us to determine the state of a road at any time and also predict how that condition will change over time. This is a paradigm shift with potential to impact on positive road safety outcomes. However, as exciting as the future is, we must also ensure that we have full confidence in the data. Establishing realistic and valid calibration loops is therefore a very important effective way ahead,” Richard said.
For further information or to find out more about TIPES, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. NTRO Certification also manages the Transport Infrastructure Product Evaluation Scheme (TIPES) details of which can be found via https://www.arrb.com.au/tipes.