Road Bump Aplication for Mobile Device Pavement Smoothness Measurement

Measuring the surface roughness of freshly constructed pavements is common practice to ensure that the appropriate agency specifications are met. Contractors as well as state and local transportation agencies commonly use laser-based profilers to quantify the surface roughness for newly constructed pavements. However, these laser-based profilers are expensive, and require specialized training for operators. Moreover, state agencies usually own a limited number of such profilers which means they cannot be simultaneously used to test pavements being constructed in different parts of a state. In such cases, state agencies are often left with no other choice than accepting contractor-reported roughness values. Identifying lower-cost and easy-to-access alternatives for pavement roughness measurement will benefit state agencies with their Quality Control/Quality Assurance (QC/QA) protocols. One possible alternative for lower-cost pavement roughness measurement involves using data from accelerometers built into mobile devices. This research project focused on (1) review of published literature; and (2) field testing efforts to evaluate the validity, accuracy and repeatability of pavement roughness measurement using applications developed for mobile devices. A certain mobile application, RoadBump Pro, developed for the Android platform was evaluated in this study. Field testing efforts involved roughness measurement along roadway sections identified across four different districts in the state of Idaho. The collected data was compared against standard pavement roughness measurement devices such as high-speed inertial profilers and light-weight profilers. Results from the analysis indicated that pavement roughness values measured using mobile devices are significantly affected by factors such as mobile device type, vehicle type, driving speed, etc. Careful calibration efforts for certain device-vehicle combinations resulted in measured roughness values that were reasonably close to those established using inertial profilers. However, these calibration factors also showed variations while testing along different roadway segments. Findings from this research effort indicated that the technology of pavement roughness measurement using mobile devices is not sufficiently developed to be adopted into agency QC/QA programs.


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  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $29490
  • Contract Numbers:

    RP 264

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Idaho Transportation Department

    P.O. Box 7129, 3311 West State Street
    Boise, ID  United States  83707-1129
  • Project Managers:

    Yearsley, Douglas

  • Performing Organizations:

    Boise State University, Boise

    Department of Civil Engineering
    ET 201B
    Boise, ID  United States  83725
  • Principal Investigators:

    Mishra, Debakanta

    Lu, Yang

  • Start Date: 20170508
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180430
  • Actual Completion Date: 20180630

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01604843
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Idaho Transportation Department
  • Contract Numbers: RP 264
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 20 2016 1:39PM