Gaist pushes digital frontiers with new AI hub


Traffex, UK, April 01, 2019
– Gaist, the leading highways data and intelligence group, is to launch a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) hub aimed at accelerating its mission to build the most sophisticated understanding yet of the country’s vital transport infrastructure.

The award-winning group is harnessing AI and machine-learning to support the analysis of its vast – and unrivalled – volume of highways data.

Gaist’s ‘digital twin’ of the classified road network – a bank of over more than 1 billion highly detailed and high-quality images covering more than 200,000 kilometres of England’s roads and roadscape – is used by local authorities, utility groups, broadband organisations and mapping companies as a rich source of trusted intelligence. By deepening their understanding of the network, it enables them to prioritise their spending, more effectively manage repairs and maintenance work, save time and money on their capex-intense roll-out programmes and provide an enhanced customer experience.

After initial work developing AI and machine-learning tools to enable it to automate the analysis of some parts of its continually updated databank, Gaist is now stepping up its research.

A team of data-scientists based at the new AI hub in Skipton, North Yorkshire, aim to make further break-throughs which will enable it to more quickly answer key questions about infrastructure condition such as – how roads deteriorate, at what rate and where cracks are most likely to form.

Its research has already enabled it to use AI to identify the material composition of a surface, the condition of white lining and to identify most highways infrastructure assets.

Speaking on the eve of Traffex, the biggest event in the highway sector’s corporate calendar, Paula Claytonsmith, Gaist’s MD, said: “The launch of our AI hub marks the next milestone in Gaist’s ambitious mission to build the most sophisticated understanding yet of our vital transport infrastructure.”

Dr Stephen Remde, Gaist’s Director of Innovation and Research, added: “Our developments in machine learning are opening-up whole new frontiers which are now starting to allow us to extract even more value for the organisations we work with – a prospect which is hugely exciting for us and our partners.”