A low-cost video-based pavement distress screening system for low-volume roads

Wai Yeung Yan, X. X. Yuan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the use of consumer-grade video camera to develop a low-cost pavement distress screening system, with a particular focus on low-volume roads. Due to the oblique view of video data captured in the car front, existing crack detection algorithms that are tailor-made for nadir view cannot be used directly. Instead, we propose and develop a Video-based PAvement Distress Screening (VPADS) system, which includes an automatic data processing workflow by first defining a Region of Interest (RoI) through robust line fitting of the two side lanes. The pavement condition can be assessed within the RoI by implementing a multi-scale ridge detection filter followed by a boundary contour analysis. Since the proposed VPADS system is designed for preliminary screening purpose, each video image scene is examined if there exists any potential crack or distress feature(s). We tested the proposed system on video data collected for two low-volume roads (Highway 624 and 668) in Northern Ontario region, Canada. The overall accuracy of detecting crack and distress features yielded 80%. Instead of replacing traditional field inspection or high-end multi-sensor pavement evaluation system, the proposed VPADS system aims to provide a computer-aided screening solution for transportation authorities of a vast rural road/highway network and with limited inspection budget. The scope of the work can be further expanded by developing a crowdsensing inspection network built by any regular road user, who can also act as a data provider for the regional/municipal pavement distress screening system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-389
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Intelligent Transportation Systems: Technology, Planning, and Operations
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • canny edge detector
  • crack detection
  • lane detection
  • low-volume roads
  • pavement distress
  • ridge detection
  • surface treated pavement
  • video processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics

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