A study of point laser for automatic local road condition assessment: feasibility, challenges, and limitations

Wenda Li, Nicole Metje, Michael Burrow, Gurmel Ghataora (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Road condition assessment plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of mature and fast-expanding road networks. Such assessments provide invaluable information for local authorities that enable them to deliver timely preventative road network maintenance. To enable the best use of scarce maintenance resources, it is necessary to assess the condition of the roads periodically. In this article, we present the Point Laser (PL) system as an alternative approach for automatic road assessment. Compared to current systems, ground penetrating radar and the mobile laser scanning system, the PL system has the advantages of low hardware cost, low computational requirements, and fewer environmental restrictions in relation to its use. The article first outlines the principle of the PL system including a low-complexity signal processing approach. Afterward, the feasibility, challenges, and limitations of the PL system are discussed based on its use in a real environment. A visual-based road survey is used as a ground truth to determine the PL’s performance in relation to the requirements of road condition assessment at various levels of road management. The results of the comparison demonstrate that the PL system is an ideal candidate for the automatic assessment of the condition of local road networks, especially those that require frequent assessment for road asset management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-174
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine
Issue number5
Early online date18 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Point Laser
  • Road Survey
  • Signal Processing
  • Applications


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