Service - How it works

What is i-Probe?
i-Probe is a cutting-edge, new method of pavement inspection that quickly and cheaply detects various types of deformities on roads using Customized Inspection Vehicles. Using a system of car-mounted sensors transmitting data in real-time, i-Probe offers road condition mapping and deterioration analysis at a fraction of the time and cost as traditional methods. Road deformities such as potholes are identified by an array of pre-installed sensors integrated with video systems which then transmit data to a cloud in real-time allowing users to quickly gain insight into their road conditions. The result is saving time and resources while optimizing efficiencies in road maintenance and safety. With the ability to track conditions along a road network rapidly over time to forecast deterioration patterns, i-Probe enables a more predictive approach to road maintenance.
What is the technology involved?
The i-Probe system relies mainly on the existing sensors in many modern vehicles. These sensors are wired into a visual interface (laptop computer) and dashboard camera system which are the only additional devices installed. The new value of i-Probe lies more in how the collected data is processed and translated into actionable information for road management agencies.
Do I need to purchase the technology?
No. Most potential clients wish to trial the system for a short period at first. i-Probe Customized Inspection Vehicles are typically leased, and the data transfer and storage services are offered as part of the overall service.
Who operates the technology and carries out inspections?
i-Probe technicians will provide training to your organization’s staff on how to operate the Customized Inspection Vehicles and all devices. Your organization can carry out inspections on any road network as needed. i-Probe technicians will process the collected data in real time and provide customized results and mapping to you as needed.
How much will it cost? How much money can I save by adopting i-Probe?
This largely depends on the size of the road network, number of vehicles, desired frequency of inspections, and information contained in the outputs. That said, the overall cost will be less than the comparable results if carried out through traditional inspection.

Advantages and Benefits

What are the advantages of i-Probe?
There are many! The obvious benefits to road management agencies are: cost-effective and rapid inspection capability, highly accurate and consistent data, and predictive maintenance capability through historical inference.
I already have reliable periodic inspections. Why should I adopt i-Probe?
The i-Probe system was originally developed to supplement existing road maintenance inspections – not replace it. i-Probe offers low cost, rapid, and highly accurate data collection, analysis, and mapping by utilizing existing sensors on regular vehicles. However, there are things that only customary inspections can cover, such as inspection of signage, road furniture condition, etc. i-Probe has proven beneficial in cost savings and increased efficiency for pavement condition inspection only. Looking forward, our R&D is underway for enhancing other inspection capabilities).
Funding for maintenance of my road assets is a challenge. Can my organization afford i-Probe as a long-term solution?
We offer trials so that your agency can understand first-hand our capabilities and can quantify the benefits that i-Probe can bring to your organization, including cost reduction and increased efficiency. Allow us to prove how the benefits of our service outweigh the cost.

Please contact us to request a trial.
Who would benefit most from i-Probe service?
i-Probe would most benefit state, county, and municipal road management agencies as well as pavement maintenance service providers who are constrained by budget, lack comprehensive road network monitoring capability, or simply desire to enhance existing inspection accuracy and capability. Any organization that is interested in rapid, cost-effective, and highly accurate quantitative road data collection and enhanced network deterioration mapping should contact us for a trial.
What value addition does i-Probe provide beyond inspection technology?
i-Probe Inc. consists of a partnership between a major automaker and road engineering consultants. These same engineering consultants are responsible for processing and interpreting collected data from the vehicle output, verifying results, and quality control. Based on client need, our consultants can prepare customized results in a preferred report format. Typically, requested service includes prioritization of most critical pavement deformities, or providing predictive insight into future deterioration locations.

Technological Capabilities

How is i-Probe superior to other road maintenance and/or safety technology out there? (video imaging systems, AI, etc.)
While it is illogical to “compare apples to oranges”, i-Probe has distinct advantages in various ways.

In terms of technical capability for road data collection, i-Probe can achieve more rapid and accurate inspection while only using regular vehicle technology and mostly common equipment.

In terms of value, i-Probe offers reports customized to your needs that are prepared by our engineering consultants who process and analyze the data.

In terms of speed, the i-Probe customized inspection vehicle can be operated up to 70 mph without losing sensor accuracy allowing low-cost, practical, and periodic coverage of even the most expansive road networks.

In terms of accuracy, statistical precision and recall trials demonstrate that the i-Probe system correctly identified and categorized road deformities with over 70% accuracy. When coupled with the integrated dashboard video monitoring function, detection achieved 100% accuracy.
Is i-Probe output compliant with or compatible to commonly used highway standards and indices?
In multiple survey trials of the same road segment, i-Probe detection results (as the mean value of our original road condition index) were statistically similar to the outcomes of a conventional inspection vehicle using International Roughness Index (IRI).

i-Probe is currently developing methods for more direct conversion of output into IRI, PCI, and FHWA standards and indices.
How accurate is it?
In terms of false positives in identifying road deformities, i-Probe can provide results with 100% accuracy.

In terms of geolocation mapping, data output is accurate within a few meters.
What should be expected in terms of capability enhancements, upgrades, and/or pipeline?
Naturally, R&D details are top secret but we are continuously working to upgrade almost all existing capabilities. This includes improved detection capability, sensitivity, and accuracy. We are looking at expanding the range of detection tools to integrate enhanced visual imaging capability, new types of sensors, and wider compatibility of different output formats. i-Probe is also exploring new lines of service, including the use of Big Data collected (in a confidential, legal, and anonymous manner) from common consumer vehicles on the street to provide pavement condition monitoring.

On the Company

Is i-Probe a Japanese company?
i-Probe Inc. is a legal entity of the United States registered in the state of Delaware. It is headquartered in McLean, Virginia.
Who is behind i-Probe?
i-Probe Inc. leverages the combined virtues of engineering consulting firms, ICT specialists, construction experts, and automobile makers from both the United States and Japan. i-Probe enjoys partnerships with various private and public entities of all levels across the United States and Japan.
How did the i-Probe concept come about?
The concept of i-Probe was conceived with support by the government of Japan and has evolved into an exemplary collaboration between Japan and the United States— a technological venture referenced in a summit level “US-Japan Joint Leaders’ Statement” (2021).