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Motorists' Smartphones May Help Highway Bosses Keep Roads Safe

By University of Birmingham (U.K.)

October 30, 2020

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Researchers at the U.K.’s University of Birmingham found that high-resolution three-axis accelerometers and GPS tracking built into smartphones, along with an app, can provide useful measures of road roughness for civil engineers.

This "crowdsourced" data sent by motorists of how their vehicle moves vertically in relation to the roadway could be used by road agencies to generate a low-cost summary of the condition of the entire road network, evaluate and compare maintenance policies, and screen roads to identify and prioritize maintenance projects.

Said the university's Michael Burrow, "Vertical acceleration data from smartphones could be analyzed using machine learning algorithms to enable [relative road roughness] to be predicted to a similar accuracy as would be expected from a visual inspection, but with improved repeatability and reproducibility."

From University of Birmingham (U.K.)
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