Affordable Sensing System for Vehicles to Autonomously Detect and Report Road Damage: The New Product-Oriented Mindset

Abstract

The VOTERS project (Versatile Onboard Traffic Embedded Roaming Sensors) looks to develop an affordable sensing system that enables ordinary vehicles to assess and transmit the condition of roads and bridge decks as they drive. A subproject of VOTERS, and the focus of this poster, is the Tire Excited Acoustic Sensing (TEASe) system. This system uses vehicle-mounted microphones to analyze sounds generated by tire-pavement interactions. Inspiration for this system came from the changes in sound humans hear as they drive from one road condition to another, such as from a country road to a highway, from a highway to a bridge, or from a new road to a deteriorated one. Recent achievements of the TEASe project include a method that detects changes in road subsurface conditions, as well as methods to estimate the International Roughness Index and Mean Texture Depth (two characteristics that help to identify a road’s condition and age). These advancements have prompted the TEASe project to change its mindset. Instead of focusing on the research and development of new methods for analyzing sensing data, the project has become product-oriented and now focuses on integrating the multiple existing TEASe methods into a final product that can be used for efficient road maintenance and repair decisions. Contributions of this poster include an overview of the TEASe project’s recent achievements, an introduction to the new product-oriented mindset, and a step-by-step plan showing how integration of the multiple TEASe methods can be achieved.