Research Projects

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Research Projects

STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2019 TOPIC AREA: Connected and autonomous systems Safety and security CENTER: PSR

Development of Cost-Effective Sensing Systems and Analytics (CeSSA) to Monitor Roadway Conditions and Mobility Safety

Project Summary

Project number: PSR-19-12

Funding source: US DOT

Contract number: 69A3551747109

Funding amount: $92,000

Start and end dates: January 6, 2020 to January 5, 2021


Project Description

This state-of-the-art Cost-Effective Sensing Systems and Analytics (CeSSA) project will provide an affordable method that will benefit state, city, county governments, as well as local communities who have an immediate need but with limited budgets to evaluate the road quality and prioritize repair needs. The project will specifically strengthen the following two major areas to advance our research competency: (1) advanced vehicle-based sensors using Bluetooth technology and (2) computing algorithms in analyzing vibration data. The sensors developed by the project will be attached on each control arm of a vehicle. The vehicle will travel on different roads to generate a variety of vibration signatures that will allow us to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the sensors and algorithms in identifying road roughness. The analysis results will be used to determine where the potential hazards (cracks, potholes, bumps, etc) on roadways are located in Google maps. We will present four specific contributions in the proposal including:  


  1. Developing the CeSSA system that can immediately reflect the actual road conditions and transfer data to a mobile application and web server.  
  2. Assembling and programing a sensing network, integrating accelerometers, rotation sensors, and magnetometers, which can differentiate various road surface conditions from unexpected driver's behavior due to traffic and weather conditions. 
  3. Unlike prior solutions, we are suggesting to develop the technology based on low cost componentry and commercially available for all highway agencies and institutions. We see the importance to lower the entry level, in order to deploy widely the scheme to developing countries, which need to improve their infrastructure. 
  4. Delivering a friendly user interface that will not require lengthy personnel training, and be easy to analyze.


The project outcomes will effectively help the governments better prioritize road repairs and immediately inform drivers of potential hazard locations such that they can adjust their path prior to traveling so as to improve the highway condition monitoring, maintenance activities, as well as mobility safety.



Chun-Hsing Ho
Assistant Professor
Room 114 Building 69
2112 S Huffer LnFlagstaff, AZ 86011
United States
[email protected]