Innovative means of collecting international roughness index using smartphone technology

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University of New Brunswick


International Roughness Index (IRI) is a widely used pavement performance measure collected with specially equipped vehicles; however, the cost of data collection may limit the ability of some road authorities to procure the data. Recent advances in smartphone technology have created interest in their potential to be low-cost mobile data collection platforms. This study compared IRI from an inertial profiler to IRI calculated from a smartphone' s accelerometer over a 1 km test section of road in New Brunswick, Canada. The study also included four scenario tests to evaluate the effects of varying the following experimental factors: vehicle type, device manufacturer, mounting arrangement and speed. The correlation between the smartphone' s results and those collected using the inertial profiler was found to be 88.9% for 100m increments along the section. The scenarios returned average IRI values ranging from 0.8% to 85% different than the average IRI of 2.60 m/km collected using the inertial profiler, though the smartphone configurations had higher coefficient of variations ranging from 2.05 to 9.11 compared to the inertial profiler's 1.12.