Denver is licensing technology developed by a Dayton-area company to track and manage street repairs, and more than 20 other municipalities are poised to follow suit, company officials said.
CDO Technologies of Riverside created the”RoadTag” application in 2012 to help the city of Dayton identify which utility companies are responsible for road repairs in the event that a street cut sinks or turns into a pothole.
Potholes from improperly filled street cuts are a potential safety hazard for motorists and a public image issue for cities, said Robert Zielinski, CDO Technologies director of commercial marketing.
CDO Technologies, an automatic identification systems integration company that serves both the federal and private sectors, worked over the last year to develop the CDO RoadTag for use by other cities and launched the product in July for the commercial market.
“As Roadtag continues to get its legs and establish a foundation, I think what happens for us is it continues to validate our business case for the technology,” said CDO Technologies President and CEO Al Wofford, who founded the firm in 1995.
CDO works with an array of technologies related to automatic identification, including radio frequency identification, real-time locating systems, global positioning systems, biometrics, sensor technologies and barcodes.
“There are a number of technologies that all fall under this umbrella that really answer the question: ‘Where is my stuff?’,” Zielinski said.
CDO’s private sector clients include Procter & Gamble, Gillette, Cintas and Duracell.
In recent months, the company was selected as a prime contractor for the U.S. Air Force’s $6 billion Netcents 2NetOps SB contract; the U.S. Army’s $180 million AIT contract; and the Air Force’s $450 million Technical Data Support Services Enterprise contract.
CDO employs about 150 workers, including 60 at its headquarters at 5200 Springfield St. in Riverside. Wofford declined to disclose the privately held company’s revenues.
Currently, the company is negotiating with a large, undisclosed city that could announce its own adoption of CDO RoadTags in the coming weeks. “It’s the largest roadway system in the country,” Zielinski said.
The CDO RoadTag uses a rugged RFID tag — essentially, a plastic-coated antenna with a computer chip — that is programmed with a contractor name and permit number, and placed under the final layer of pavement. When a defect occurs, city engineers using a hand-held RFID reader can scan the information via radio waves and take immediate action.
“Rather than spending time digging through the archives in file cabinets trying to understand who did that work, they are now able to get real-time, field-based data,” Zielinski said.
In its first year of RoadTag implementation, the city of Dayton saved $60,000 in labor diversion, said Andrew Marks, a city engineer. In addition, the city has seen an increase in workmanship among utility companies and a decrease in pothole complaints, he said.
“We are more efficient than we were three years ago,” Marks said. “Because of this technology, we are able to know instantly what utility company … is responsible for the maintenance of the cut, and we can have them on the phone and let them know within the blink of an eye about this issue.
“It just saves a lot of time and a lot money that could be spent elsewhere,” Marks said.
The CDO RoadTag has won several industry honors, including the 2015 RFID Case Study Competition award from AIM Global, an automatic identification and data capture industry trade association, and an RFID Journal award for distinguished success in use of RFID technology.
To develop the RoadTag for other municipalities, the application was tested to make sure it could withstand the heat and pressure of asphalt, as well as the freeze-thaw cycles of cities such as Denver.
Denver bought one RoadTag package for testing and plans to fully deploy the technology next spring, Zielinski said. The package retails for $28,500 and includes a desktop programming unit that connects to the computer issuing building permits; a hand-held RFID reader; 5,000 RFID tags; software for both the computer and hand-held device; and a year of customer support.
“We expect that our use of this state-of-the-art technology will result in new operational efficiencies for our staff and faster response times,” said James Barwick, Denver Public Works engineering manager, in a statement.
Wofford said CDO draws on its work in the defense sector to develop software for using automatic identification technologies in commercial markets such as manufacturing, health care, education and municipal engineering.
“We commercialize technologies. We take business cases and we take technology and we bring those things together to develop solutions,” Wofford said.