Every Innovation Starts With A Conversation
Full 1
Full 1

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) utilized State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) funds to implement the Kansas Regional Coordinate System (KRCS). This advanced mapping tool is essential for minimizing linear distortion between maps and the ground, which can have significant impact on constructing plans and surveys. 

Potholes have long been a source of frustration for road users, costing Americans an estimated $26.5 billion in vehicle damage in 2021. The Kansas and Missouri Departments of Transportation (DOTs) have collaborated to implement the Pothole Customer Proactive Reporting (CPR) tool. This technology helps improve the timely identification and maintenance of potholes in the Kansas City region.  

Mitigating linear distortion: The Kansas Regional Coordinate System 

Historically, KDOT has utilized the State Plane Coordinate System to scale coordinates to ground measurements for the purpose of reducing linear distortion. Unfortunately, utilizing a single coordinate system for all projects can be a challenging task. The result was often incompatible with spatial software platforms such as a geographic information system (GIS). 

To solve this issue, the Kansas Reference Coordinate System (KRCS), an advanced statewide mapping system that utilizes low-distortion projections (LDPs), was developed. The KRCS divides Kansas into 20 zones which allows for optimal distortion minimization, particularly over larger areas.  

This system eliminates the need to keep creating new coordinate systems and is compatible with a range of commercial surveying, engineering, and GIS software. By utilizing LDPs, KDOT reduces the discrepancy between grid and ground distances, better informing construction plans and surveys. 

Kansas City Scout evaluates Waze pothole detection 

Pothole detection is an exceedingly difficult task for transportation agencies. Road users are often imprecise when reporting pothole locations, this results in crews spending significant amounts of time and resources searching for them. To ensure timely and cost-effective pothole repair, it is crucial for road users to report potholes with as much accuracy as possible.  

In the summer of 2021, two Kansas and three Missouri DOT maintenance crews used Kansas City Scout, a bi-state traffic management system serving Missouri and Kansas, to conduct an evaluation to assess the accuracy of Waze pothole detection. After a two-month period, their evaluations yielded an impressive 98 percent accuracy rate, with 45 of the 46 reported potholes or pavement blemishes being within 90ft of the reported location.  

In light of these impressive results, KC Scout implemented the Pothole Customer Proactive Reporting (CPR) tool for maintenance teams in the KC region. The tool sends daily summaries, in both spreadsheet and map format, that combine Waze reports and those reported by phone. With more accurate crowdsourced data, Kansas and Missouri DOTs have improved their ability to repair potholes in the Kansas City area. This collaborative effort has led to safer and more accessible roads.