ITSC 2014
Conference paper

Towards a frugal framework for monitoring road quality

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Rapid urbanization of developing cities creates challenges for governments to update and maintain the city infrastructure. One particular challenge is to plan for road capacities that will sustain the growing demand for surface transportation on the road network. For these cities, a sophisticated road infrastructure that includes sensors (e.g., loop detectors and traffic cameras) and/or probe vehicles equipped to detect pavement roughness are ideal for traffic infrastructure management. However, the cost of such tools for developing cities is often prohibitively expensive. For these reasons, road infrastructure management strategies that are able to leverage low-cost technologies and data resources are highly sought after in these areas. We refer to these strategies as frugal innovations. In this paper we explore a frugal approach for monitoring road quality in Nairobi, Kenya. Our aim is to use characteristics of speed distributions to detect the presence of pavement distresses (including speed bumps) for Nairobi, Kenya's road network. We first derive link speeds from mobile GPS traces, and then perform graphical as well as quantitative distributional comparisons of the speed distributions on travel network links with speed bumps present, compared to links without speed bumps present. Our results support our hypotheses that distributional comparisons on travel speeds can indeed serve as useful tools to detect the presence of speed bumps and other road distresses.


14 Nov 2014


ITSC 2014