The Italian scientific institute Enea is testing a “smart” network to remotely monitor overloaded vehicles and, if necessary, reroute them to alternative routes to avoid potentially dangerous situations. This is according to a press release issued by Enea (in Italian).

The system comprises advanced dynamic weight measurement sensors, high-tech sensors, innovative software and hardware that can identify overloaded vehicles in real time and direct them to alternative routes. It is a way to safely route heavy transport over (highway) roads, bridges and viaducts.

Distorted signal

In concrete terms, the prototype features a weight measurement system that has a mechanical part equipped with sensors that distort the moment a vehicle passes by. Special computer software converts the distorted signal into weight with the help of algorithms.

If the trial goes according to plan, the system will immediately be installed on a stretch of highway near Salerno (60 km south of Naples). Following that, it will be the turn of other roads and bridges that are deemed critical. Monitoring critical infrastructure is considered a priority. As recently as 2020, a bridge in Sardinia collapsed while a truck was driving over it.

14 research centers

The system was developed at the Enea research center near Matera (southern Italy) in conjunction with the University of Salerno and the Italian Public Works Department, among others. ENEA is an Italian government agency dedicated to scientific research and technological development, and operates 14 research centers across Italy.

(Photo: test set-up where a truck drives over a section of road surface with weight measuring sensors © Enea)

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