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Richard Wix Marcus John pic 1
Australian Road Research BoardDecember 16, 20221 min read

Using the Sydney bus network to find potholes and road issues

The National Transport Research Organisation (NTRO) has been undertaking cutting edge work through its road arm ARRB on identifying potholes and other ride quality issues around Sydney.

NTRO has been working with Cisco and the University of NSW to trial a new live real-time road condition monitoring system using Cisco routers fitted to public buses operating in the Sydney metropolitan area. The team was undertaking the work for Transport for NSW.

The system uses the readings from an accelerometer in the router mounted to the Sydney bus fleet as a surrogate for roughness, using the information to locate road anomalies based on real-time changes to the ride quality across the road network. For example, the bus experiences a spike in the acceleration when it traverses a pothole or other pavement defect.

The results are overlayed on a map and displayed as a heat map, showing locations along the bus routes where the acceleration has consistently spiked and investigation needs to be carried out.

NTRO collected roughness data across a portion of the network to help validate the model.

Results have been very successful so far, and the concept was demonstrated at the Cisco Live event in Melbourne in December. NTRO/ARRB also displayed one of its ride quality vehicles at the event, with NTRO infrastructure measurement discipline lead Richard Wix attending along with NTRO/ARRB’s Marcus John and Daniel Siu.

Richard Wix Marcus John pic 2

Richard Wix Marcus John pic 1