A novel processing methodology for traffic-speed road surveys using point lasers

Wenda Li, Michael Burrow, Yueyue Tao, Gurmel Ghataora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rapidly increasing traffic volumes using local
road networks allied to the implications of climate change
drive the demand for cost-effective, reliable and accurate road
condition assessment. A particular concern for local road asset
managers is the loss of material from the road surface known
as fretting which unchecked can lead to potholes. In order to
assess the road condition quantitatively and affordably, a system
should be designed with low complexity, be capable of operating
in a variety of weather conditions and operate at normal trafficspeeds. Many different techniques have been developed for road
condition assessment such as ground penetrating radar, visual
sensors and mobile scanning lasers. In this work, the use of the
point laser technique for scanning the road surface is investigated.
It has the advantages of being sufficiently accurate, is relatively
unaffected by levels of illumination and it produces relatively low
volumes of data. In this work, road fretting/surface disintegration
was determined using a novel signal processing approach which
considers a number of features of reflected laser signals. The
proposed methodology was demonstrated using data collected
from the UKs local road network. The experimental results
indicate that the proposed system can assess road fretting to
an accuracy which is comparable to a visual inspection, and
at Information Quality Level (IQL) 3 which is sufficient for
tactical road asset management whereby road sections requiring
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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