Detroit Tests Cloud-enabled Pavement Monitoring

In Detroit, about 20 city-owned Ford F-150 and F-250 trucks are testing a cloud-based solution that automatically monitors road pavement quality in real time.

The pilot involved the installation of Tactile Mobility’s Tactile Software Processor, which uses signal processing, microphysical experiments and machine learning to analyze data it collects from sensors inside the vehicle, such as tire grip estimation, wheel speed and wheel angle. With that data collected as the vehicles drive through the city, the technology calculates a rating based on the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER) system that evaluates road conditions.

In Detroit, the data goes from the vehicles to the Tactile Cloud. The city’s geographic information system automatically pulls it in as a map layer to show in real time where potholes or cracks exist. By comparison, PASER tests are typically done by survey vehicles once or twice a year and produce highly accurate quality scores.