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Title:
A ROAD SURFACE EVENNESS AND ROUGHNESS MEASUREMENT SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/208264
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a method and system for determining road roughness and unevenness using an application. In one embodiment, the method includes installing a handheld device having an application over a vehicle, estimating, Road Quality Index (RQI) value of roughness and unevenness of a pavement surface, based on a plurality of parameters which are generated due to vibrations, GPS location, Speed, tilt Angles, direction of the handheld device during motion of vehicle using a plurality of sensors, mapping the estimated Road Quality Index value to several international standard values to categorize the quality of the road and standardizing the plurality of parameters generated from the respective sensors by identifying the frequency of data reads and calibrating the same.

Inventors:
DESHMUKH, Ranjeet (RH-22, Rolling Hills Baner-Pashan Link Road, Baner, Pune- 5, Maharashtra, 41104, IN)
Application Number:
IN2017/050221
Publication Date:
December 07, 2017
Filing Date:
June 02, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DESHMUKH, Ranjeet (RH-22, Rolling Hills Baner-Pashan Link Road, Baner, Pune- 5, Maharashtra, 41104, IN)
International Classes:
E01C23/07; G01B21/30; G01C21/32; G06F17/40
Foreign References:
US20150183440A12015-07-02
Other References:
TOMIYAMA, K. ET AL.: "A Mobile Profilometer For Road Surface Monitoring By Use Of Accelerometers", VERGINIA TECH, 2012, pages 1 - 10, XP055446075
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MAHURKAR, Anand Gopalkrishna (Krishna & Saurastri Associates LLP, 74/F Venus Worli Sea Face,Mumbai – 8, Maharashtra, 400 01, IN)
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Claims:
Claims

1. A method for determining road roughness and unevenness using an application, the method comprising:

installing a handheld device having an application over a vehicle;

estimating, Road Quality Index (RQI) value of roughness and unevenness of a pavement surface, based on a plurality of parameters which are generated due to vibrations, GPS location, Speed, tilt Angles, direction of the handheld device during motion of vehicle using a plurality of sensors;

mapping the estimated Road Quality Index value to several international standard values to categorize the quality of the road; and

standardizing the plurality of parameters generated from the respective sensors by identifying the frequency of data reads, noise level in data recorded, vehicle type, handheld device make and type and calibrating the same.

2. The method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the determination of road surface evenness and roughness uses a RTRRM (Response Type Road Roughness Measurement) method for determining of road quality.

3. The method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein RQI is expressed as a representation of surface roughness and un-evenness as measured by a Smart Roughometer Mobile Application.

4. The method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the sensors are a GPS sensor, an accelerometer sensor and a gyroscope sensor.

5. The method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the categorization of road quality including a good quality road category, a bad quality road category, and an average quality road category.

6. The method as claimed in claim 1 provides indication of a real time driving experience on a road with regard to surface evenness and roughness.

7. The method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the installation of handheld device is positioned inside the vehicle or alternatively placed on the flat surface of the dashboard of the vehicle. 8. The method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the plurality of sensors are embedded within the handheld device or fixed externally in the vehicle using standard data transmission cables or wirelessly to the handheld device.

9. The method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the application is initiated and the data's collected from sensors are processed in parallel to calculate roughness index and stored in local database to display in the handheld device and also transmits in real-time to any external device such as another computing device, or remote server.

10. The method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the data generated are collected and archived, crowd-sourced and presented back to same or other driver or passengers of the vehicle for alerts and notifications of various road conditions and driving conditions.

11. The method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the application automatically calibrates itself for given placement conditions such as vibrations noise of the vehicle being used, frequency of the sensors, data impurity of the sensors with static values or optionally with dynamically identified values based on past executions of the application.

12. A road surface evenness and roughness measurement system, the system comprising:

at least one handheld device including a processor and a memory, wherein the handheld device installed a processing application in communication with a server in order to establish contact between the handheld processing application and the authentication server via a network,

the handheld device is operationally configured to an accelerometer sensor for retrieving a vertical displacements and/or vibrations of a handheld device, a gyroscope sensor for retrieving all the tilt angles of the handheld device and a GPS sensor for retrieving the speed and location data of the handheld device, the handheld device configured for retrieving calibrated values from the accelerometer sensors, gyroscope sensors and GPS sensors and feed the same to the application installed in order to obtain a roughness index and displaying a road surface and evenness at the display of the handheld device .

Description:
A ROAD SURFACE EVEN NESS AN D ROUGHN ESS MEASU REMENT SYSTEM

Field of the invention

The present invention mainly relates to road surface roughness and evenness measurement systems and more particularly, the present invention relates to a digital response type road roughness measurement system and a method thereof.

Backgrou nd of the invention

Surface evenness of highway pavements refers to the regularity of surface finish both in longitudinal and transverse directions. Almost in all major highway works, control of surface evenness has been introduced as a mandatory requirement. The standards and tolerance levels of surface evenness are prescribed internationally by authorized government and non-government bodies.

Surface evenness affects vehicle speed, comfort, vehicle operating cost and safety and hence needs to be given careful consideration during initial construction and subsequent maintenance. The standard recommended for surface evenness enables the engineer to exercise control over the quality of construction. Standards have also been prepared for the road roughness of different types of surfaces to enable an evaluation of the condition of the surface and prioritize and establish further maintenance intervention levels. Roughness of a pavement is generally acts as an indicative of its riding quality and level-of-service. The roughness values provide an important impact in taking decision for surface improvement and maintenance measures. Similar roughness and unevenness measurement tools and methods exist for Rail roads. There are various methods known in the art that describe how an application calculates road roughness and unevenness index of a road surface. For example, road quality index is measured using profilometers, which measure the road profile, or by correlating the measurements of Response Type Road Roughness Measurement System (RTRRMS) to an IRI calculated from a profile. Using World Bank terminology, these are respectively called Information Quality Level (IQL, hereinafter), i.e. IQL-1 and IQL-3 devices or Class-l and Class -III type devices, representing the relative accuracy of the measurements. IQL-3 systems are primarily called as Roughometers. Roughometers typically have correlation equations for different speeds to relate the actual measurements to IRI (International Road Roughness Index) or country-specific standards such as 'Bump integrator' Roughness Index in India.

IQL-1 systems typically report the roughness at 10-20 m intervals, IQL-3 at 100m+ intervals. The data can be presented using a moving average to provide a "roughness profile". These profiles are sometimes used to evaluate new construction to determine bonus/penalty payments for contractors, and to identify specific locations where repairs or improvements such as grinding are recommended. The Road Quality Index (RQI, hereinafter, a combined term representing IRI, Roughness Index or any such roughness index) is also a key determinant of vehicle operating costs which are used to determine the economic viability of road improvement projects. In addition, alternative methods and devices used for identifying RQI are well-known in the art such as visual inspection, dipstic profiler, Roughometer, Laser and ultrasound based Profilometer, LiDAR technology and the like. However, these methods and devices are not without limitations. In visual inspection method, the visual inspection results are not applied to any system of measurement and are totally person dependent. Alternatively, the Dipstick Profiler having reported accuracy of 0.01 mm ( 0.0004 inches), is the most widely used and accepted Class-I profiler for the purposes of calibrating profilometers that measure road quality. However, this Dipstick Profiler is very slow and a person operating said dipstick profiler has to measure any road, meter by meter by walking along the road. Moreover, Dipstick Profiler covers only a single line on the entire road. Further, the Roughometer device that is largely used in the art which is a mechanical device mounted on an axel of any vehicle or attached to the vehicle using a trolly, commonly referred to as '5 th wheel bump integrator'. However, the Roughometer device is totally mechanical in construction that needs frequent calibration. Moreover, the Roughometer device measures response to road roughness using relative movement between axel of a vehicle and body of the vehicle. Both the reference points being variable, the reproducibility of mechanical Roughometer readings is low. The laser and ultrasound based profilometers are costly and need frequent calibration.

Accordingly, there is a need of a road surface evenness and roughness measurement system that cost-effectively enables fast data collection in comparison to Roughometer or Dipstick devices using digital technologies commonly available in retail market. In addition, there is a need of a road surface evenness and roughness measurement system that has better accuracy levels than Roughometers. Further, there is a need of a road surface evenness and roughness measurement system that takes a quick inventory of roads within a specified region for analysis.

Summary of the Invention

An aspect of the present invention is to address at least the above- mentioned problems and/or disadvantages and to provide at least the advantages described below.

According to one aspect of the present invention relates to a method for determining road roughness and unevenness using an application . The method including installing a handheld device having an application over a vehicle. Estimating , Road Quality Index (RQI) value of roughness and unevenness of a pavement surface, based on one or more parameters which may be or may include vertical movements generated due to vibrations, GPS location, Speed , tilt Angles, direction of the handheld device during motion of vehicle, using one or more sensors. Mapping the estimated Road Quality I ndex value to several international standard values to categorize the quality of the road. Further, the method standardizing the parameters generated from the respective sensors by identifying the frequency of data reads, noise level in data recorded , vehicle type, handheld device make and type and calibrating for the same. In another aspect of the present invention relates to a road surface evenness and roughness measurement system. The system includes at least one handheld device including a processor and a memory. The handheld device installed a processing application in communication with a server in order to establish contact between the handheld processing application and the authentication server via a network. The handheld device is operationally configured to an accelerometer sensor for retrieving a vertical displacements and/or vibrations of a handheld device, a gyroscope sensor for retrieving all the tilt angles of the handheld device and a GPS sensor for retrieving the speed and location data of the handheld device. Further, the handheld device configured for retrieving calibrated values from the accelerometer sensors, gyroscope sensors and GPS sensors and feed the same to the application installed in order to obtain a roughness index and displaying a road surface and evenness at the display of the handheld device.

Further, the calculated Road Quality Index (RQI) or the mapped roughness index of the road is further mapped to driving condition index for the road. This index can be then presented back to the same or other device, driver or vehicle for real-time road-condition alerts such as pothole warnings, steep turn warnings.

Furthermore, the method and its application is also used to determine road condition of various road types such as Rail-roads (tracks) and underground vehicles Other aspects, advantages, and salient features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, which, taken in conjunction with the annexed drawings, discloses exemplary embodiments of the invention.

Brief description of the drawings

The above and other aspects, features, and advantages of certain exemplary embodiments of the present invention will be more apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a system architecture diagram of a road surface evenness and roughness measurement system constructed according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 2 is a flow diagram showing set up and calibration process of the road surface evenness and roughness measurement system according to one embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 3 is an operational work flow diagram of the road surface evenness and roughness measurement system according to one embodiment of the present invention; and

Figure 4 is flow chart showing logical work flow of a Roughometer App of the road surface evenness and roughness measurement system according to one embodiment of the present invention.

Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that elements in the figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and may have not been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements in the figure may be exaggerated relative to other elements to help to improve understanding of various exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure.

Throughout the drawings, it should be noted that like reference numbers are used to depict the same or similar elements, features, and structures.

Detailed description of the invention

The following description with reference to the accompanying drawings is provided to assist in a comprehensive understanding of exemplary embodiments of the invention as defined by the claims and their equivalents. It includes various specific details to assist in that understanding but these are to be regarded as merely exemplary. Accordingly, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that various changes and modifications of the embodiments described herein can be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. In addition, descriptions of well-known functions and constructions are omitted for clarity and conciseness.

The terms and words used in the following description and claims are not limited to the bibliographical meanings, but, are merely used by the inventor to enable a clear and consistent understanding of the invention. Accordingly, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that the following description of exemplary embodiments of the present invention are provided for illustration purpose only and not for the purpose of limiting the invention as defined by the appended claims and their equivalents. It is to be understood that the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to "a component surface" includes reference to one or more of such surfaces.

By the term "substantially" it is meant that the recited characteristic, parameter, or value need not be achieved exactly, but that deviations or variations, including for example, tolerances, measurement error, measurement accuracy limitations and other factors known to those of skill in the art, may occur in amounts that do not preclude the effect the characteristic was intended to provide.

Figures discussed below, and the various embodiments used to describe the principles of the present disclosure in this patent document are by way of illustration only and should not be construed in any way that would limit the scope of the disclosure. Those skilled in the art will understand that the principles of the present disclosure may be implemented in any suitably arranged communications system. The terms used to describe various embodiments are exemplary. It should be understood that these are provided to merely aid the understanding of the description, and that their use and definitions in no way limit the scope of the invention. Terms first, second, and the like are used to differentiate between objects having the same terminology and are in no way intended to represent a chronological order, unless where explicitly stated otherwise. A set is defined as a non-empty set including at least one element.

The present invention discloses a road surface evenness and roughness measurement system that records Vibrations, GPS location, Speed, Tilt Angles, Phone direction through various sensors built into a smart phone or attached externally thereto for calculating roughness and unevenness of a pavement surface which is calculated and designated as an Index value RQI wherein RQI is expressed as a representation of surface roughness and un-evenness as measured by a Smart Roughometer Mobile Software. The Index value is then mapped to various international standard values to identify quality category of the road, such as Good, Average Bad. This road surface evenness and roughness measurement system uses a RTRRM (Response Type Road Roughness Measurement) method of calculating Road quality.

Figure 1 is a system architecture diagram of a road surface evenness and roughness measurement system constructed according to one embodiment of the present invention.

The figure shows the system architecture diagram of a road surface evenness and roughness measurement system. The road surface evenness and roughness measurement system 100 comprises a computing device which includes a smart phone, personal digital assistant, tablet computer, palmtop computer, ipad, or any other such handheld or mobile device or computing device with the ability to communicate with the network via a wireless/wired connection. There might be other devices, but they are not shown for simplicity. The computing device has a wireless access radio, a GPS receiver, a processor, Roughometer application, an accelerometer sensor, a gyroscope sensor and might have other components but they are not shown for simplicity. In an example embodiment, the handheld computing device 1 10 is mounted at a fixed position or placed loosely on a surface in a vehicle which may be a car 120 using a removable casing. Alternatively, the computing device 110 is optionally placed on a flat surface within the vehicle 120. The computing device 110 includes a GPS sensor 130 positioned therein. However, the GPS sensor 130 may be externally connected with the computing device 1 10 wirelessly or using standard data transmission cables in other alternative embodiments of the present invention. The computing device 1 10 includes an accelerometer sensor 140 positioned therein. However, the accelerometer sensor 140 may be externally connected with the computing device 110 wirelessly or using standard data transmission cables in other alternative embodiments of the present invention. The computing device 110 includes a gyroscope sensor 150 positioned therein. However, the gyroscope sensor 150 may be externally connected with the computing device 1 10 wirelessly or using standard data transmission cables in other alternative embodiments of the present invention. The computing device has a display screen 160.

The accelerometer sensor 140 reads vertical displacements and/or vibrations and feeds the same into an index calculating algorithm 170. The gyroscope sensor 150 reads tilt angle of the computing device 110 and feeds the same into a Roughometer Application programmed in the computing device 1 10 for tilt-angle based data correction and normalization. The GPS sensor 130 reads speed of the computing device 110/ vehicle 120 as well as location data such as Longitude/Latitude and feeds the same into the Roughometer Application programmed in the mobile/computing device 110. Accordingly, all the relevant data is processed in parallel and stored in a local database 180. Subsequently, the data stored along with a calculated roughness index is displayed on the display screen 160 and transmitted in real-time to an external device 190, such as a mobile phone, remote server or computer. It is understood however that the stored data may be exported out of the database 180 in digital form 195 such as Display, e-Mail, PDF reports, or transmission to remote server through Internet.

Figure 2 is a flow diagram showing set up and calibration process of the road surface evenness and roughness measurement system according to one embodiment of the present invention.

The figure showing set up and calibration process of the road surface evenness and roughness measurement system. Initially, the Roughometer Application is installed on the computing device 1 10 in step 210. In next step 220, the GPS sensor 130, the accelerometer sensor 140 and the gyroscope sensor 150 are calibrated when the road surface evenness and roughness measurement system 100 is initiated or when a recording is initiated. The system 100 identifies frequency of data reads from various sensors, vehicle standard vibrations during idling state or while moving and calibrates the same in order to produce reasonably same road roughness index across different phone and sensor models. In step 230, the calibrated computing device 110 inside a removable mount of the vehicle 120 or alternatively the computing device is placed on the flat surface of the dashboard of the vehicle 120.

In one embodiment, the present invention relates to a method for measuring a road surface and evenness by retrieving a vertical displacements and/or vibrations of a computing device by an accelerometer sensor which is positioned inside the computing device. Further, retrieving a tilt angle of the computing device by a gyroscope sensor positioned inside the computing device. Furthermore, retrieving a speed of the computing device/vehicle as well as location data such as Longitude/Latitude of the computing device by a GPS sensor positioned inside the computing device. The method further, calibrates the retrieved values from the accelerometer sensors, gyroscope sensors and GPS sensors and feed the same to the Roughometer application programmed in the computing device, processing the calibrated data's with an logic to obtain a roughness index and displaying a road surface and evenness (roughness index) in the computing device. The calibration process is irrespective of the phone or computing device and the sensor models. The method also applies to Roadways (for wheel mounted vehicles) as well as Railroads using pre-installed tracks.

Figure 3 is an operational work flow diagram of the road surface evenness and roughness measurement system according to one embodiment of the present invention.

The figure shows an operational work flow diagram of the road surface evenness and roughness measurement system. The Roughometer Application is initiated in the computing device 1 10 in an initial step 310. In next step 320, a start recording button on said Application is clicked such that the computing device 1 10 acquires GPS and shows a green screen to go ahead in step 330. In next step 340, the user starts driving the car 120 on the road whose surface evenness and roughness is to be measured. In further step 350, the screen of said Application starts recording of runtime measurements of vibrations due to road roughness and subsequently stops recording in step 360 when the intended road or patch of the road is covered. In step 370, the road surface evenness and roughness measurement system 100 shows road quality index as well as mapping thereof to selected index. In next step 380, the road surface evenness and roughness measurement system 100 shows road categorization such as a good quality road, a bad quality road, an average quality road and the like.

In an example embodiment, the installed application on the hand held device capable of calculating a road surface evenness and roughness using a logic, where the logic has a threshold level, if the calculated values from sensors are less than threshold level then the road surface and levelness quality is good, and if the calculated values from sensors are in the range equal to threshold level then the road surface and levelness quality is average, and if the calculated values from sensors are greater than threshold level then the road surface and levelness quality is bad which is shown in the table given below.

In last step, 390, the results obtained through the computing device 1 10 are transmitted, exported or printed by the user.

Figure 4 is flow chart showing logical work flow of a Roughometer Application of the road surface evenness and roughness measurement system according to one embodiment of the present invention.

The figure shows the flow chart showing logical work flow of a Roughometer Application of the road surface evenness and roughness measurement system . A logical workflow of the Roughometer Application installed in the computing device is shown. The Roughometer Application is started in an initial step 410 such that frequencies of the GPS sensor 130, the accelerometer sensor 140, and the gyroscope sensor 150 are identified and recorded on the computing device 110 in step 420. In next step 430, the data received from the GPS sensor 130, the accelerometer sensor 140, and the gyroscope sensor 150 is read and stored in the database 180 of the computing device 110. In next step 440, the Roughometer Application calculates roughness index using a pre-configured formula for every predefined distance. It is understood here that the pre-configured formula is based on various variables such as vertical displacement, number of 'bumps' identified in given distance, travelled distance and the like. In step 450, the readings and calculations performed by the computing device 110 are displayed on the display screen 160. The readings and calculations in earlier step are stored in the database 180 in step 460. The Roughometer Application is turned off in the final step 470 as illustrated.

Advantages of the present invention

The road surface evenness and roughness measurement system 100 facilitates faster data acquisition of data compared to currently known manual systems and Roughometers.

The road surface evenness and roughness measurement system 100 facilitates a digital equipment measurement for road surface roughness measurement.

The road surface evenness and roughness measurement system 100 eliminates the need of frequent maintenance and calibration.

The road surface evenness and roughness measurement system 100 facilitates the digital devices whose rate of mechanical failure is extremely low. The road surface evenness and roughness measurement system 100 is more reproducible and capable of providing higher repeatable results compared to current mechanical Roughometer systems.

The road surface evenness and roughness measurement system 100 gives precise indication of a real time driving experience on a road with regard to surface evenness and roughness.

The road surface evenness and roughness measurement system 100 can be installed on non-proprietary devices such as a variety of mobile phones and cars.

The road surface evenness and roughness measurement system 100 is capable of being used with the mobile devices that can be moved from one vehicle to another.

Figures are merely representational and are not drawn to scale. Certain portions thereof may be exaggerated, while others may be minimized. Figures illustrate various embodiments of the invention that can be understood and appropriately carried out by those of ordinary skill in the art.

In the foregoing detailed description of embodiments of the invention, various features are grouped together in a single embodiment for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure. This method of disclosure is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the claimed embodiments of the invention require more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive subject matter lies in less than all features of a single disclosed embodiment. Thus, the following claims are hereby incorporated into the detailed description of embodiments of the invention, with each claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment.

It is understood that the above description is intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive. It is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. Many other embodiments will be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reviewing the above description. The scope of the invention should, therefore, be determined with reference to the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled. In the appended claims, the terms "including" and "in which" are used as the plain-English equivalents of the respective terms "comprising" and "wherein," respectively.