Investigation of the Implementation of a Probe-Vehicle Based Pavement Roughness Estimation System

As roadway systems age and maintenance budgets shrink, a need emerges for timely and roughness data for pavement maintenance decision-making. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) maintains the third-largest state network of roadways in America, with $1.8 billion budgeted for roadway maintenance in 2012. Pavement assessment data in Virginia is currently collected by a contractor using a dedicated sensor platform. Frequency of collection is once per year on the interstate highway system and primary roadways, and once every five years for secondary roadways. Collected data is analyzed to produce indices which are the basis for pavement maintenance decision making. This paper outlines a pavement roughness data gathering system using the connected vehicle program under the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT)’s Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) initiative. The data-gathering system will increase frequency of pavement roughness data collection on primary, secondary, and interstate roadways, increase the number of lane-miles of monitored roadways, decrease lag time from collection to interpretation, and add to the information available to state transportation agency employees. The technical feasibility and characteristics of three potential system structures are researched and discussed. All three systems use accelerometers and wireless communications to gather pavement roughness data, but differ in technology and approach. One uses ITS and connected vehicle technology, a second uses an installed accelerometer and communications system instrument package, and the third uses mobile communications devices containing accelerometers. The most appropriate system uses smartphone devices to gather data using integrated accelerometers and transmitting data using commercial wireless services.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Virginia, Charlottesville

    Center for Transportation Studies
    P.O. Box 400742, Thornton Hall, D228
    Charlottesville, VA  United States  22903

    Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center

    Pennsylvania State University
    201 Transportation Research Building
    University Park, PA  United States  16802-4710

    Virginia Department of Transportation

    530 Edgemont Road
    Charlottesville, VA  United States  22903

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Sauerwein, Peter M
    • Smith, Brian L
  • Publication Date: 2011-8


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 95p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01491384
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UVA-2010-01
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT07-G-0003
  • Created Date: Aug 16 2013 4:30PM