Technological advancements coupled with the need to continuously seek ways to improve operations often render data collection equipment, computer hardware and software, and survey procedures to become outdated after a certain time. Also, systems that receive the data often undergo upgrades and transitions that tend to make the data collection systems obsolete. Pavement Management Systems (PMS), computer operating systems, and videolog viewing software are just a few examples of "receiving" systems that might be upgraded and thereby force corresponding changes to roadway data collection processes.
The SDDOT Office of Transportation Inventory Managements vehicle and corresponding equipment are now five years old. Because technology has changed over that time and the vehicle currently has 80,000 miles on it, the SDDOT will soon need to consider either replacement, or else renovation of the existing equipment. A needs assessment will be essential to the decisions on the most appropriate configuration of the roadway evaluation equipment. Determining the needs will help define the configurations functional requirements and the ultimate system specification. Once acquired, the roadway evaluation equipment will need to be validated through a pre-defined testing process that will ensure integrity of the operations, technology, and use for several years.