Cranberry Township: Innovating in PA Since 2018

RoadBotics by Michelin has worked hard to empower over 300 communities to automate their road assessments and save time and resources. But success didn’t happen overnight!

When Carnegie Mellon Professor and RoadBotics Chief Scientist Christoph Mertz launched RoadBotics in 2016, the idea of using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze roads was a shock to the system and challenged the status quo.

Knowing an open mindset is required to switch to an AI-powered solution makes us appreciate our earliest adopters even more. Not only were they willing to do things differently, but they trusted us to play a role in processes that would impact their entire community.

One of our longest standing relationships is with Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, a suburb in the northwestern part of the state that manages 135 miles of road. Initially, Cranberry’s Streets and Fleets Manager Bob Howland conducted manual road assessments, which required driving and assigning ratings to 1,020 road segments.

The team would then manually input this data into an asset management system called RoadSoft over a number of weeks. Over time, it became clear this process took too long and the quality of data was too subjective. These concerns led them to research alternatives. 

Can you guess who they decided to work with?

Cranberry Township's Traffic Control Center

Since becoming a customer in 2018, Cranberry has held steady on their commitment to deliver the latest solutions to its residents. By pairing RoadSoft’s asset management capabilities with RoadBotics by Michelin’s automated road assessment system, the community created a robust process for pavement management that allows them to plan better maintenance and share their work with residents. 

Using RoadBotics by Michelin, Cranberry’s Public Work Department collected data for their entire road network using a smartphone. Each 10-foot section of road was analyzed by a proprietary computer vision algorithm to deliver color-coded ratings on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the roads with the best quality and 5 the worst.

This process provided Cranberry with their objective road assessment in 30 days, saving them weeks of time that were redirected to executing maintenance. 

Smartphone-based data collection through RoadBotics by Michelin.

Fast forward five years, and Cranberry’s decision to integrate RoadBotics by Michelin into their pavement management plan is still providing benefits.

Their Public Works department was recently featured in the community’s “Cranberry Today” magazine showcasing their innovative approach.

The objective data received from RoadBotics by Michelin allows “…The Township to be proactive and better allocate funding and address road needs before they need a full re-paving. That includes the crack seal and seal coat programs which can extend the life non-urgent roads by several years.”

Kelly Maurer, Cranberry’s Director of Public Works shared, “It [RoadBotics by Michelin] provides us an unbiased pavement inventory, collected in a non-invasive way. It also eliminates weeks of work that are now utilized to make progress on other projects.”

Page 13 from Cranberry Today Magazine's Spring 2023 Issue

We are grateful for our relationship with Cranberry Township and are excited for what the future holds! Is your community ready to save time by automating its assessments? Schedule a meeting with a RoadBotics by Michelin Expert!


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