Road Marking innovations highlight how technology is driving change at Traffex
A knee-high robot that marks white lines accurately and at high speed; innovative paint that can deal with the road surface at level crossings; a ride-on road marker that resembles a Harley Davidson – but is silent; and new treatments that are durable, skid-resistant and highly visible even on a wet night – the road marking sector will demonstrate how much it is working on roads for the future at Traffex next month.
“Roberta” the robot
Methods of ‘pre-marking’ for road markings have not changed since the outset: it is a slow, risky, back-breaking and labour-intensive activity. Enter Roberta, the WJ PreMarker, the fastest pre-marking robot in the world. Weighing just 18kg, it fits in the boot of a car or van. It’s completely autonomous using GPS for navigation and can mark out centre lines and car park bays, and via a USB can mark out any other shape such as arrows, lettering, numbers and even logos.
The robot is fast and accurate and has been used on several projects. On the M4 the robot was tasked to mark out the back of the hard shoulder line along a 5km section on both sides of the carriageway. It completed the task in five hours, a job that would normally take an engineer four shifts.
On a 3km outside lane edge along the M1, when checking the markings, engineers found that over the 3km the robot averaged a 5mm tolerance – well within the 25mm tolerance engineers normally work to.
Road marking system for autonomous cars
WJ Group will also be launching Weatherline Plus 5 road marking. It is the first of its kind to comprise so many features in one road marking.
The line is made from a series of closely-packed raised dots which increases the surface area that can be seen at night. The dots stand proud of any surface water and the structure allows any standing water to be drained away. It boasts:
- High Performance
- Exceptional retroreflectivity
- Wet night visibility
- Skid resistance
- Audible, sensory and improved day visual properties
- Easily detected by vehicle Lane Keep Assist (LKA) camera systems and moving forward readability for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) technology
- Expected life when machine applied on new matt in good weather conditions is in excess of 5 years.
The silent Harley Davidson
Visitors to Meon road marking will be able to get their hands on the UK’s first fully electric ride-on line-marker, dubbed by the team as “The silent Harley Davidson” for its resemblance to a large but almost noise-less motorcycle. It reduces pollution and emissions on the road, and is able to run on one charge for 10 hours.
Railway crossings have always presented difficulties where a long-lasting, quick drying durable line marking is needed. Level crossings have a high volume of mixed traffic and due to the constantly moving hard rubber ‘Strail’ crossing pads, getting a marking to stay down for longer than 6 months has been a near impossibility. Meon has developed RoadLine Q285 specifically for this: it adheres to the rubber matting, the visibility is excellent, the paint is hardwearing and long-lasting, eliminating the need for and costly seasonal maintenance. Best of all, the road is open to traffic – and trains – after only 90 minutes. Meon is on stand J078
Stu McInroy, CEO of the Road Safety Markings Association said: “The RSMA will be exhibiting at Traffex 2019. Established in 1976, the RSMA supports, trains, assesses and represents companies and other organisations involved in or with an interest in, the road marking industry. With a membership spanning the UK, Europe and beyond, the RSMA works with Government bodies and industry partners to deliver its vision: Safer roads for all users. It is the internationally respected voice for the UK road marking industry – a key component of a safe and effective highways network.”
Commenting on these advances, Adrian Tatum, director of Traffex says: “Road markings are becoming increasingly sophisticated. High-visibility lines are essential for the UK’s road infrastructure as driverless cars require clearly defined road markings, so it’s great to see innovation and technology driving change on the road.”
More than 10,000 of the world’s leading authorities on highways and transport are expected to visit the 350 exhibitors will showcase some of the latest products, concepts and services.
Visiting is free to professionals but pre-registration is essential via this link.