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Automated Collection in British Columbia

Automated Collection in British Columbia


British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure had obtained several years of highway pavement data using a combination of windshield surveys and manual onsite inspections. The resulting information was summarized to conform to the department’s Pavement Distress Index (PDI).

The challenge: Could semi-automated collection, processing and analysis techniques produce data that aligned with BC’s PDI and pavement condition history?

What We Did

Fugro collected data at highway speeds of 50 mph (80 kph) from about 2,100 miles (3,420 km) of major highways, 830 miles (1,340 km) of secondary highway and 1,090 (1,755 km) of other roads.

To ensure consistency, repeatability and conformity with the PDI, BC established two protocols. Fugro collected data from five 500-metre (550-yard) control sites at four stages during the project. Fugro also collected from 10 blind sites (known only to the client) during the regular collection process.

Processed data from all test sites conformed to the PDI.

Technologies Used

On this project Fugro used:

  • Two identically equipped and configured ARAN vehicles
  • Experienced collection crews trained by Fugro
  • Two-dimensional photography with strobe lighting 
  • Configurable post collection segmentation, processing and analysis


Fugro successfully transitioned BC’s pavement data collection program to a more automated methodology. This included:

  • Delivering data that is more reliable, repeatable and consistent than possible from windshield surveys
  • Processing data to conform to pre-existing trend information 
  • Improving safety, compared with 25 mph (40 kph) windshield surveys and onsite inspections, both of which interrupt traffic flow
  • Dramatically reducing collection time, since collection was much less dependent on ambient lighting and weather conditions

“Our client was understandably curious whether we could deliver data that conformed to their pavement history, given our very different equipment and techniques. But Fugro’s ARANs, operators and processing team delivered compliant results in the scheduled time frame.” ~ Nick Vavaroutsos, A.Sc.T, Project Manager, BC Collection Project

Similar Applications

The approach used for this project is applicable to any highway network that needs to transition from manual to automated data collection while preserving historic trend information.

To read the entire case study, click here.

Copyright Fugro Roadware 2013.