High-Speed Automated Pavement Inspections

Physical Sciences : Civil Engineering

Available for non-exclusive licensing


  • Bugao Xu, Ph.D. , Division of Textiles and Apparel
  • Ming Yao , University of Texas at Austin
  • Yaxiong Huang, Ph.D. , Human Ecology
  • Xun Yao , University of Texas at Austin

Background/unmet need

Currently, manual pavement rating surveys are subjective and expensive with low output rates and are dangerous for both drivers and the surveyor personnel. Furthermore, current automated systems are expensive, have low coverage and speed, and require off-line processing.

Invention Description

The automated pavement distress measurement system (ADPMS) is an invention that can be employed to find and classify cracks in pavement in accordance with the Pavement Management Information System (PMIS) and the American Association of State Highway Transport Officers (AASHTO). PMIS data includes transverse, longitudinal, and alligator cracking, while AASHTO data includes crack density information. Also, this automated system provides the actual number of transverse cracks, longitudinal cracks, spalled cracks, and punch-outs. Finally, this technology can record the analytical information and provide an accompanying snapshot of the pavement.

The invention uses the technology of a high-speed line scan camera with a high-power laser line projector to acquire real-time images of pavement, and includes the proprietary Crackscope-II software for smart camera control, crack detection, crack classification and visual editing.


  • Objective, high-speed, and repeatable
  • Real-time processing
  • Reduced costs of installation and operation
  • Automated systems are safer for drivers and surveyor personnel
  • Toolbox for visually examining and editing cracks
  • Estimated crack width and cracking severity levels


  • GigE Line scan camera
  • Linear lighting device
  • Works on non-rainy days and nights
  • AVI, JPEG, or BMP format for saved pavement images
  • Comprehensive cracking data including PMIS (longitudinal, transverse, alligator cracking), ASSHTO, and crack maps
  • Lane mark detection

Market potential/applications

This technology can be utilized for batch concrete and asphalt surface analyses by the Department of Transportation, the Department of Defense and the airline industry.

Development Stage

Lab/bench prototype

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