Low-Cost 3D model acquisition for rapid accident investigation

Vehicular accidents are one of the great societal challenges. Acquiring 3D models from actual or staged crashes is an important investigative tool. Currently this is done with laser scanners. They can provide excellent 3D data, but the devices are expensive, need to be used by experts and the data collection is time consuming. For these reasons they are only used for the most severe accidents. The research team wants to build on their work with Structure-from-Motion (SfM) techniques to create 3D models of the whole accident and of relevant parts. The team has already developed the core methods where the investigator only needs to use a standard camera to take pictures of the scene from many locations and perspectives. Given enough images, the SfM software computes a 3D model. In this project the team wants to refine the techniques, develop more tools and bring the method closer to market. In particular the team wants to develop a tool that compares the intact 3D model and the damaged 3D model and determines the deformation of the latter with minimal user input. Lastly the team wants to test their methods in the field, to investigate real accidents and as a tool for in collision research.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Mobility 21 National UTC for Mobility of Goods and People

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Program
  • Managing Organizations:

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Mobility 21 National UTC for Mobility of Goods and People
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Carnegie Mellon University

  • Principal Investigators:

    Mertz, Christoph

  • Start Date: 20180701
  • Expected Completion Date: 20191130
  • Actual Completion Date: 20200121
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01677508
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National University Transportation Center for Improving Mobility (Mobility21)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747111
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 7 2018 12:04PM