As the software requires minimal human intervention, FDOT employees will be able to apply extra time to more critical tasks, such as establishing and prioritizing maintenance and rehabilitation programs. A significant facet of this project will be to evaluate precision and bias of the automated system for determining the greatest opportunities for future enhancements. Fugro will assist FDOT in creating a more efficient and repeatable approach for automatically identifying and quantifying both rigid and flexible pavement surface distresses, allowing FDOT to make decisions faster than ever before.
The new software will process 2D digital images, which are collected using FDOT’s self-contained data collection vehicle, with an integrated 2D Laser Road Imaging System (LRIS). Presently, FDOT uses their data collection vehicle mostly for rigid pavements in urban high-speed roadways, where other methods are less practical due to traffic volumes and safety concerns. The software will immediately detect and quantify the extent of cracks, classify them by type and severity and easily identify their location within a surveyed lane; their location will also be simultaneously geo-referenced based on the location, dimensions and orientation of the recorded image. Understanding the magnitude of the asset’s condition allows DOTs to paint a clearer picture of the optimal time to apply the right type of pavement preservation treatment.
“This is a very challenging task, but it can be very rewarding,” stated Abdenour Nazef, P.E., Pavement Materials Systems Engineer for FDOT. “The anticipated computer-based image analysis system is expected to provide more objectivity to the process of human interpretation and evaluation of pavement crack distress while enhancing data quality and productivity.” This objective information, resulted from quality data, is translated into cost saving decisions, extending the life of FDOT’s assets and increased staff safety.
Fugro has provided pavement condition surveys for numerous DOTs in the USA including the states of Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2). Additionally the company has delivered vehicle-based automated data collection systems to the states of Arkansas, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, and South Dakota.
Numerous states that partner with Fugro for pavement condition surveys also receive Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) data to meet Federal reporting requirements. Fugro’s data processing tools automatically produce the Federal HPMS report formats, ready for submission. States are also adding extra miles of data collection to their existing contracts in compliance with the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and Fugro is collecting asset inventory and condition data to make reporting more manageable. For FDOT, the successful development and implementation of the distress identification and quantification applications software will enhance their efficiency and the reliability of pavement data collection which, in turn, will assist them in satisfying MAP-21 quality management and reporting requirements.