Developing an App for Measuring Road Roughness

Road Lab App

With assistance from SoftTeco, Progress Analytics LLC and Beldor the World Bank has developed a smartphone app that measures road surface conditions.

The Android app – RoadLab, uses accelerometers, gyroscopes and GPS to autonomously measure and evaluate road roughness on IRI scale (International Roughness Index) before sending the information to cloud servers via cellular network or Wi-Fi.

Algorithms used by the app takes into account vehicle speed, suspension type and phone’s position in order to achieve precise measurements for road pavement quality. The app starts making measurements automatically when the vehicle’s speed reaches 30km/h or it can be controlled manually. For the sake of preserving battery life and cell data, recording synchronization can be made only when connected to Wi-Fi.

The app also includes a feature for manual submission of dangerous road problems such as uncovered manholes, severe road bumps or debris, or road accidents. A user only has to take a picture of the issue and it will be sent with GPS coordinates to cloud servers managed by local road management agencies.

Apart from the app, SoftTeco also supported the development of a web interface for road management agencies that receive and analyze the incoming data and make visualizations on the map.

This innovative solution is one of the first to use consumer tech and crowdsourcing principles with a goal to improve road infrastructure around the world. This collaborative approach provides wider coverage of road network at frequent intervals and collects uniform data to support strategic and network level asset management decision making.