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Monday, November 02, 2020

Crowsourcing Smartphone Sensors to Test Infrastructure

Though likely to cause concern over privacy.

Motorists' Smartphones May Help Highways Bosses Keep Roads Safe

University of Birmingham

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."

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