An autonomous road roughness measuring app
- Algorithm for calculating road roughness on the International Roughness Index (IRI) based on the gyroscope and accelerometer data
- Mathematical model for establishing coefficients for different
suspension types and velocity
- A mobile application module which uses the algorithm in real time
- A server module where collected data is analyzed and standardized
The application is specifically tailored to road engineering agencies for providing accurate road quality reports in developing countries. Apart from the standard full-cycle development that included the requirements’ clarification, business analysis, technical design, implementation, quality assurance and technical support, the team was actively working on producing a mathematical model:
- Writing the algorithm started with analyzing the data provided by gyroscope. The first steps were made under the supervision of a team from Virginia Tech.
- Project documentation creation.
- Development of prototype for mathematical model testing.
- Model calibration field tests.
With the help of Engineering Road Center based in Belarus the team investigated 4 road sections of different surface quality. Three types of car suspension were tested: each of the road’s section was measured while traveling at various velocities and on cars with different suspension types.
- The final creation of a mathematical model adjusted based on collected data.
The solution allows to autonomously collect, analyze and transfer data while driving. The possibility of using data from the gyroscope (acceleration vector) and GPS chip (latitude, longitude and altitude at sea level) for performing IRI calculations together with an option of introducing road sections adjustments makes this app an efficient and a cost effective tool for road engineering agencies. All received data can be uploaded to dedicated servers for further analysis or can be exported in various geo-formats. The application is specifically tailored to road engineering agencies for providing accurate road quality reports in developing countries.
How it works
The application is based on an Android version which allows to support the largest number of devices using modern approaches and development tools. The app autonomously collects gyroscope, accelerometer and GPS data, saves it locally before automatically uploading to the server when WiFi or cellular data becomes available.
The iOS version includes the same features as the Android one. Due to varying gyroscope frequencies of the devices, SoftTeco has adjusted the algorithm to make sure that the collected data is consistent across all supported devices. This allows researchers to reliably use a combination of smartphones without jeopardizing the measurement accuracy.
Backend was implemented using EclipseLink ORM framework on Java. Maven is used as a collector. Guice was used as a framework for implementing Guice business logic. The database is PostgreSQL, which is hosted on the same server.
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Beta version of the app was released within the established timeframe, while meeting the customer’s needs. SoftTeco continues working with the World Bank and has developed new versions of the application with major upgrades to the functionality:
- Version RoadLabPro 2016 for Android and iOS. Dropbox, GoogleDrive, OneDrive and other third-party services are used for exporting the calculated data instead. In addition to that, an algorithm and mathematical model has been significantly improved.
- Version RoadLabPro 2018. A few special technical features have been added.