QR codes offer Michigan DOT a new high-tech signal repair process

QR Codes check in
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The state’s Department of Transportation is using the technology to achieve better response time and accuracy.

In Michigan, the Department of Transportation (MDOT) has now decided to use QR codes as a part of a broader effort to improve its ability to achieve a smaller response time while bettering its accuracy when it conducts repairs on traffic signals that have been damaged.

The MDOT frequently receives calls with regards to traffic signals during bad weather and overnight.

The calls they receive often report dysfunctional or damaged traffic signals. While the repairs for some of these issues are quite simple and straightforward, there are times when the technicians could use some additional information in order to properly repair the traffic signal. It is in this way that the QR codes are expected to make a difference. The previous system relied on providing traffic and safety engineers, and electricians, with paper copes of the signal specs, which the MDOT kept in filing cabinets.

The QR codes provide the technicians with a direct link to the information they need to repair the signals.

QR Codes check inFormerly, when lights needed to be fixed, the repair crews would need to rely on these printed documents to provide them with the specs and mechanism schematics that determined the signal’s appropriate timing. The main problem with that system was that the paper copies are easily damaged – most commonly due to exposure to weather or even because they were chewed by mice.

It was also becoming a struggle for crews to know which documents were the most recent and up to date versions of what they needed. What made matters worse was that the online programs that were available to provide digital assistance – such as the MDOT internal server, SafeStat and ProjectWise – were not easy to access.

This was becoming a massive waste of time, resources and energy. Now, crews can use their mobile devices to scan QR codes in order to gain immediate access of the most recent signal data from the Michigan Transportation Map. This barcode scan automatically directs the device to the information that is now all available through one centralized database. The quick response codes have been printed and laminated so they can be distributed through each of the 106 MDOT locations.

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