Pothole detection and monitoring is a difficult challenge as the road network is large and expansive and the condition changes constantly. Good quality data is critical so that local councils can act on it.
When CPE met Mobilized Construction in early 2020, the firm provided data using accelerometer based sensors, detecting road vibrations consistent with potholes when a vehicle’s wheels interacted with them. This is an excellent way to monitor roads frequently, however it can miss parts of the roads due to limited interaction between the road surface and the wheel.
To address this, CPE worked with Mobilized Construction to review different image-based systems to monitor the road surfaces. Having provided a comprehensive review of a range of techniques seen in the literature, CPE went on to trial four additional methods: using Raspberry Pi based cameras, hi-frame rate cameras used in motor sports, thermal imagery cameras, and polarization sensitive imaging of road surfaces. The latter solution was shown to detect the presence of standing water on road surfaces as well as reduce glare from the sun and is being used to guide development efforts going forward.
This collaboration demonstrated a working solution which would add significant capabilities to their existing system and directed the company to expand on their optical offerings. The company have used their expertise in computer vision and AI to progress the development of this system and continue to trial this with local authorities today and are always eager for new local authority or construction company collaborators to trial their technology.