ROAD SURFACE DETECTION FROM MOBILE LIDAR DATA
Keywords: Mobile LiDAR System (MLS), Road Surface, Principle Component Analysis (PCA), Intensity, Height
Abstract. The accurate three-dimensional road surface information is highly useful for health assessment and maintenance of roads. It is basic information for further analysis in several applications including road surface settlement, pavement condition assessment and slope collapse. Mobile LiDAR system (MLS) is frequently used now a days to collect detail road surface and its surrounding information in terms three-dimensional (3D) point cloud. Extraction of road surface from volumetric point cloud data is still in infancy stage because of heavy data processing requirement and the complexity in the road environment. The extraction of roads especially rural road, where road-curb is not present is very tedious job especially in Indian roadway settings. Only a few studies are available, and none for Indian roads, in the literature for rural road detection. The limitations of existing studies are in terms of their lower accuracy, very slow speed of data processing and detection of other objects having similar characteristics as the road surface. A fast and accurate method is proposed for LiDAR data points of road surface detection, keeping in mind the essence of road surface extraction especially for Indian rural roads. The Mobile LiDAR data in XYZI format is used as input in the proposed method. First square gridding is performed and ground points are roughly extracted. Then planar surface detection using mathematical framework of principal component analysis (PCA) is performed and further road surface points are detected using similarity in intensity and height difference of road surface pointe in their neighbourhood.
A case study was performed on the MLS data points captured along wide-street (two-lane road without curb) of 156 m length along rural roadway site in the outskirt of Bengaluru city (South-West of India). The proposed algorithm was implemented on the MLS data of test site and its performance was evaluated it terms of recall, precision and overall accuracy that were 95.27%, 98.85% and 94.23%, respectively. The algorithm was found computationally time efficient. A 7.6 million MLS data points of size 27.1 MB from test site were processed in 24 minutes using the available computational resources. The proposed method is found to work even for worst case scenarios, i.e., complex road environments and rural roads, where road boundary is not clear and generally merged with road-side features.