Road Performance Evaluation

A New Approach

The first application for the RUBIX product is a simplistic yet effective workflow for measuring the performance of roads to be used to develop rehabilitation, maintenance, and prediction reporting for infrastructure managers. Rival has developed a creative alternate for agencies that cannot afford traditional data-collection methods by balancing the value of obtaining road condition data with the cost and effort to capture it.

RUBIX Methodology for Road Performance Evaluation

The figure below presents the RUBIX methodology for completing a comprehensive pavement performance evaluation.

Road Performance Workflow

With this approach, users of RUBIX first collect a measure of the roads’ roughness as a pre-qualification for the road network and to eliminate all good (smooth) roads from further, tedious data collection.  

To accomplish this, Rival has developed rRuf , a customized app for the iPhone that uses the devices accelerometers and gyros to produce a Class 3, response based roughness index. This data is automatically tagged to the appropriate road segment by using the devices GPS and an intelligent map matching algorithm. The simplicity and automation of this part of the workflow allow users to gather data in parallel to another operation. For example, the device can be installed on a maintenance vehicle (or vehicles) and collect data daily, during routine operation. Coverage of the network can be monitored on the RUBIX dashboard, and gaps can be filled in as needed. When repeated recordings are done on a roadway section, averages and other statistics will be computed for the indexes.

The output of this is a Riding Comfort Index (RCI), on a scale from 1-10 for each road segment. For a simple analysis based on roughness only, users can stop at this point and use the RCI as a performance measure.

For those who wish to use distress as an independent or supplemental evaluation parameter, a subset of the road network can be selected intelligently based on poor roughness scores for a more detailed survey.  Surface-defect data aids prediction of the performance of the road, and triggers a more appropriate and cost-effective rehabilitation and/or maintenance strategy.

To capture surface defects, Rival has developed rInspector, an iPad application. Currently, distress ratings can be sampled according to ASTM D6433 standards, or a custom model provided by your agency.

Ratings entered into the rRate app are automatically sent to Rubix cloud services for processing and the output is a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) for each road segment.

An overall aggregate index (Overall Condition Index, OCI) is then computed as a function of both RCI and PCI.

Results can be visualized and downloaded via the RUBIX dashboard. Typically, for present status reports of a road network, this exercise is done on longer update cycles (years). However, given the simplicity and ease of operation of the roughness data capture, roadway segments can be monitored for condition more frequently, allowing for trend analysis, better prediction, and more robust and effective use of road rehabilitation budgets.

Alternative Data Inputs

It is understood that government and service provider agencies may have already invested in data capture technology, thus RUBIX can also be used to process data from existing capture systems.

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Examples of these are:

For Road Roughness:
  • Other accelerometer-based system (GNSS/INS)
  • Other profiler-based systems
For Surface Distress
  • Windshield surveys
  • Digital Image surveys
  • Manual clipboard survey
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