Application of Vehicle-Based Sensing Technology in Monitoring Vibration Response of Pavement Conditions

Chun Hsing Ho, Matthew Snyder, Dada Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The technique of using vibration sensors to monitor the pavement roughness has been expanding in pavement engineering. In addition to the currently used automated pavement sensing method and smartphone sensing method, the paper presents an alternative option using vehicle-based sensors to detect asphalt distresses under the effect of pavement temperature change, and identify their georeferenced locations. The sensor logger consisting of triple-axis accelerometers, Arduino MKR1000 computer boards, and a battery is a cost-effective design that intends to provide an affordable sensing method to conduct pavement condition assessments. Two road testing sections located on Interstate 10 (I-10) corridors in the Phoenix, Arizona, region were selected for a year-round data collection from February 2017 to February 2018 with measured pavement temperatures from 4°C to 66°C (40°F-150°F). Prior to road testing, five sensors were mounted on a testing vehicle, four on the tires and one inside the car, as well as a sixth smartphone sensor inside the car. The analysis consists of converting accelerometer data into the determination of severe cracks and moderate cracks using geographic information systems (GIS) software to verify a relationship between the pavement temperature and accelerometer vibration. The results show that as the pavement temperature increases, the amount of observable pavement distress increases. On the other hand, travelers passing through I-10 corridors in the Phoenix region would experience more discomfort in the summer season (May-August) and feel less "bumpy"in the cold season (December-March). Based on the year-round road tests, the paper concluded that the effect of pavement temperatures in the performance of highway pavements is significant. In addition, the vehicle-based sensors were more reliable than the iPhone sensor in the prediction of pavement performance using vibration data analysis. This paper demonstrates that the vehicle-based sensing method is an alternative option that can be used by governments to monitor the vibration response and deterioration progress of pavement conditions and it is also a cost-effective way to advance the day-to-day operations in highway pavement maintenance and management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04020053
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering Part B: Pavements
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Accelerometers
  • Pavement condition assessment
  • Vehicle-based sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


Dive into the research topics of 'Application of Vehicle-Based Sensing Technology in Monitoring Vibration Response of Pavement Conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this