Characterizing Point-Based Transverse Pavement Rut Measurement Errors Using Emerging 3D Continuous Profile-Based Laser Technology

This paper presents the preliminary results from a research project sponsored by the U.S. DOT Research and Innovation Technology Administration (RITA) Commercial Remote Sensing and Spatial Information (CRS&SI) technology program. Using the actual 3D continuous transverse profile data collected on a road section as the ground truth, an experimental test was performed to assess the rut depth measurement errors caused by different rut bar systems that included 3-point, 5-point and other equally-spaced systems with number of sensors from 7 to 40. Based on our preliminary test on 2,000 half-lane transverse profiles, the results show that 3-point and 5-point rut bar systems are unreliable with average measurement errors of 63% and 44%. If the number of sensors increases to more than 25, the measurement error drops to a value below 10%.

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