A study of point laser for automatic local road condition assessment: feasibility, challenges and limitations

Wenda Li, Michael Burrow, Nicole Metje, Gurmel Ghataora

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Road condition assessment plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of mature and fast-expanding road networks. Such assessments provide invaluable information for local authorities that enable them to deliver timely preventative road network maintenance. To enable the best use of scarce maintenance resources, it is necessary to assess the condition of the roads periodically. In this paper, we present the Point Laser (PL) system as an alternative approach for automatic road assessment. Compared to current systems, Ground Penetrate Radar (GPR) and Mobile Laser Scanning (MLS) system, PL system has the advantages of low hardware cost, low computational requirements and less environmental restrictions in relation to its use. The paper first outlines the principle of the PL system including a low-complexity signal processing approach. Afterwards, the feasibility, challenges and limitation of the PL system are discussed based on its use in a real environment. A visual-based road survey is used as a ground truth to determine the PLs performance in relation to the requirements of road condition assessment at various levels of road management. The results of the comparison demonstrate that that PL system is an ideal candidate for the automatic assessment of the condition of local road networks, especially those that require frequent assessment for road asset management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-15
JournalIEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine
Early online date18 Jun 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jun 2021


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