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3D Laser Mapping has developed a system to help authorities determine safe speed limits....
3D Laser Mapping has developed a system to help authorities determine safe speed limits.

Using the StreetMapper vehicle-based 3D laser mapping system, road safety conditions can be computed automatically for any stretch of highway. In rural areas, the system's electronic eye provides a very rapid and cost effective surveying method to provide a standard for road safety assessment. This will allow authorities to implement speed restrictions based on more accurate and more complete information; eliminating inconsistencies.

The StreetMapper road safety system was developed to automatically record features such as road width, condition and visibility following The Department for Transport in England, and the Scottish and Welsh transport authorities, announcement that they wanted 'realistic and consistent' limits in place by 2011. Transport minister Stephen Ladyman said 'Our new guidance encourages lowering speed limits where the evidence warrants but equally traffic authorities should consider increasing limits if it can be done safely.'

StreetMapper, which has been developed in partnership with IGI, is a vehicle-mounted system that uses a series of lasers to measure the position of features relative to the moving vehicle. These highly accurate measurements are then processed, using proprietary software, to produce a detailed 3D model of the street corridor and associated features.

Martin Redstall, managing director of Reality Mapping, which is already using the StreetMapper system for a variety of applications, said: 'Highways authorities have been given a very mixed message. On one hand they are being asked to review the speed limit of every section of road but on the other hand they have been given no guidance against which this review should be undertaken.

'StreetMapper can remove the subjective element of this review. Using StreetMapper we can capture a detailed and accurate record of the road and associated features at speeds of up to 70kph. These measurements are then analysed to produce a safety rating for each section of road based on standard criteria such as width, condition, visibility and roadside features for example lighting, vegetation and development.'

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