Imaging is everything for Alberta inspections

EDMONTON — Alberta’s use of thermal imaging technology to detect defective components on commercial vehicles has earned a prestigious national award.

The Intelligent Transportation Systems Society of Canada presented its Provincial Program Award to Alberta Transportation’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Branch during a recent ceremony in Quebec. The award recognizes leadership in using technology to promote safety and/or efficiency in the transportation field.

The thermal imaging system involves a fleet of three units strategically located throughout Alberta that are equipped with colour and thermal cameras, imaging systems and software, and monitors.

The equipment observes heat patterns, and the cameras display infrared radiation as visible images on the system’s monitors. This allows transport officers to screen moving vehicles for dragging brakes, flat or under-inflated tires, overheated bearings, and other running-gear-related safety issues.

The system started as a pilot project in 2005. The technology has an 88 percent accuracy rate in spotting vehicles with high-risk safety equipment issues, which allows transport officers to focus inspection and enforcement efforts more effectively and efficiently.

Intelligent Imaging Systems of Edmonton provides technical support for the system and shared in the award.

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