Development of a Computerized, Low-Cost, Portable System for Visual Inspection, Characterization and Maintenance Management of Highway Pavements


Development of a Computerized, Low-Cost, Portable System for Visual Inspection, Characterization and Maintenance Management of Highway Pavements


Nuno Verdelho Trindade




16th International Road Federation (IRF) World Meeting


International Road Federation (IRF)


The methodologies of visual inspection and characterization of highway pavements have not been up-to-date with the wide-ranging technological breakthroughs of the recent years. The traditional techniques, which use archaic instruments for positioning and tracking, continue to be massively used. Although there are a few technologically advanced solutions available, in general these involve very expensive equipment, can only be used in conjunction with an inspection vehicle and, therefore, do not enclose the level of versatility needed in most cases. In addition, these solutions are not practical for inspecting highly trafficked intersections, especially when some level of detail and precision are needed. Furthermore the office work required to organize the extensive raw data collected in the field, by traditional means, is considerable. It often involves several time-spending stages in the treatment of the data records, which can lead to errors and imprecision, before it can be available for analysis and interpretation. It is urgent to adopt more effective and versatile methods that are both economically and technically proficient and also more sustainable without the substantial costs in manpower, time and energy. The purpose of this work is to present an ongoing research focused on creating an integrated system to aid the visual inspection and characterization of pavements and manage its state of preservation. The premises of this development implied that the system should use state-of-the-art technology (in both hardware and software), allow a high level of detail in the characterization, be manifestly low-cost, user-friendly, portable and ready to be used on-foot or installed in a vehicle, significantly reduce the time and means involved in the field work, decrease the number of phases in the handling of the field data and efficiently manage the condition of the pavement. Starting with the experience acquired in practical cases where detailed pavement inspection and characterization took place, namely a section of the A1 portuguese motorway, a comparison between the means involved in the use of traditional methods and the use of this new system, will be made. In addition the several pavement pathology classification criteria available nowadays and the way this system deals with it, will be shown. Finally the repercussion that the commercialization and generalized use of this type of low-cost systems can have in the quality of the results and in the reduction of material and human resources will be discussed.


pavement preservation, visual inspection, software, inspection equipment, maintenance management

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