Shuoshuo Xu, John O’Halloran & Kai Zhao and

Road Phone Project – Road pavement condition monitoring using smartphone sensing

Submitted on Monday, 23/10/2023

Insight Postdocs Kai Zhao and Shuoshuo Xu and CRT-AI PhD student Nicola Rossberg joined Andrea Visentin and Zili Li to present an interactive demonstration of the recently funded SFI Challenge ‘Road Phone Project’ as part of the School of Computer Science and Information Technology (CSIT) Undergraduate Open Day on 14th October in UCC.

The Road Phone team demonstrated the project’s application by setting up a trackway with obstacles and ran a remote-controlled car equipped with a smartphone mounted on top. The participants could operate the car on the track and navigate the course to avoid the obstacles minimizing the car’s vibration. This showcased the framework of the Road Phone system, giving the audience a clear illustration of the Road Phone project’s real-world objectives.

There were over 50 enthusiastic participates on the day, including secondary-level students and they were also joined by Professor John O’Halloran, President UCC, who actively engaged in the demonstration, showing keen interest in the project.

The ‘Road Phone’ project is developing a novel low-cost sensing technology for road pavement monitoring using smartphones installed in University College Cork shuttle buses. Road surface defects can cause vehicle ‘bumping’ and these vibrations can be captured by sensors embedded in smartphones together with GPS location coordinates. The smartphone data gathered will be analysed using cutting-edge machine learning algorithms to detect road pavement defects.

The project will create a semi-live road deterioration map to enable timely road maintenance, mitigate the risk of cascading road failure and reduce road repair costs whilst improving transportation safety, economic efficiency and sustainability.

The project leads are Dr Zili Li (School of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University College Cork); Dr Andrea Visentin, School of Computer Science and Information Technology, University College Cork and Mr James Loney (Pavement Technology, McCurdy Associates Consulting Engineers Ltd).

(Photo L-R: Shuoshuo Xu, Professor John O’Halloran & Kai Zhao)