Zehntner Retroreflectometer vs Retrotek Retroreflectometer

Comparing the Zehntner Retroreflectometer to the RetroTek Retroreflectometer

The road marking industry is changing. The development of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) will put increased pressure on Road Authorities to improve the quality of road markings to support these safety systems. It is forecast that 73% of all new cars will include some form of ADAS by 2023. This leap forward in driving technology is forcing the need to adopt a more uniform approach worldwide to road markings, in order for ADAS enabled vehicles to function efficiently worldwide.

Zehntner ZDR 6020 Retroreflectometer

Zehntner Retroreflectometer vehicle

RetroTek-D Retroreflectometer

Zehntner ZDR 6020 Retroreflectometer vs RetroTek-D Retroreflectometer lane measurement

“The Retrotek-D is the first in a new generation of mobile retroreflectometers that allows for a full road lane to be surveyed in a single pass…”

Zehntner Retroreflectometer Single line measurement

While the Zehntner allows for accurate marking detection of single, double and even triple lines, the RetroTek-D is the first in a new generation of mobile retroreflectometers that allows for a full road lane to be surveyed in a single pass by measuring both left and right sides of the lane and central lane markings at the same time. This is slashing the time required to complete a road survey by up to 50% and in turn reducing the fuel costs associated with road surveys by a corresponding 50%.

RetroTek Retroreflectometer surveying all road assets
Zehntner Retroreflectometer front view

Zehntner Retroreflectometer Precision Driving

The Zehntner retroreflectometer requires the operator to use precision driving techniques in order to remain very close to the side of the lane that it’s measuring. The RetroTek-D is suitable for normal lane position driving making surveys safer for the single operator/driver and other road users with no requirement for precision driving close to the edge or centre lane lines. The RetroTek-D software algorithms continuously search and monitor for the lines and centre markings and adjust accordingly leaving the driver/operator to concentrate on driving.

Front Mounted Retroreflectometer vs Side Mounted

The Zehntner is fixed to the side of the survey vehicle. Unlike some competitors, this is a hard-mounted system, eliminating the hassle and risk factors associated with mobile systems that require suction cups and strapping for use. One of the downsides of a side mounted system is that it is a protrusion, meaning that it does slightly impede passing traffic, leading to safety concerns. The Zehntner system measures at a distance of 6m ahead of the sensors.

Zehntner Retroreflectometer front view
RetroTek Retroreflectometer close up tow hitch

RetroTek use an innovative front mounted retroreflectometer unit. This system is mounted to the survey vehicle using a standard front tow hitch, with none of the safety or vibration issues associated with suction cups or straps. It does not protrude from the side of the vehicle to endanger other road users. The RetroTek-D enclosure has ~ 8”+ (200mm) ground clearance when surveying, double the clearance of dynamic side mounted systems ensuring sufficient clearance for kerbs, parking stops, speed ramps etc. If necessary it can be quickly raised higher from the ground when not operational. As a result, there is minimum risk of damage to equipment itself. The RetroTek-D also measures road markings at 30m geometry, 12m ahead of the mounted sensors.

Other key features of the Zehntner Retroreflectometer vs the RetroTek model

Both models allow for high accuracy at normal road speeds, preventing the obstruction of normal traffic flow.

Independent tests have verified that the RetroTek-D accurately measures in day or night the night visibility RL (coefficient of retroreflected luminance) of pavement line/striping markings to CEN En 1426 & ASTM E 1710 & as accurate as hand held retroreflectometers. The system also counts the presence and absence of Pavement Markers (RPMs)/ road studs and centre median barrier reflectors. RetroTek-D uniquely measures the retroreflectivity (RL) of both right and left longitudinal lines (edge and centre lines) and centre lane marking/symbols. This is not possible for side mounted systems without road closure/traffic management & multiple survey passes.

Both systems can accurately measure the daylight contrast ratio between the road surface and the road markings. The RetroTek-D has built-in automatic compensation for bright sunlight, shadows, road glare and vehicle bouncing from uneven road surfaces and driving behaviours (accelerating/braking).

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