Published on 10/06/2022

 

Call for cyclists to join Aston University project to help eliminate dangerous potholes

 

  • Call to support project to make roads safer for cyclists
  • Collaboration with UK company Strada Imaging to identify dangerous potholes 
  • Project will use low-cost multiple image sensors and deep learning to record surface measurement.

Aston University is calling on cycling groups to contribute to a project which is designed to make roads safer for cyclists. 

Professor Mujib Rahman from the Department of Civil Engineering is collaborating with UK company Strada Imaging to develop a cheaper and more accurate system for identifying potentially dangerous potholes hidden under surface water on cycle lanes and near the kerb. 

Government statistics show almost 100 people died or left with life-changing injuries because of accidents caused by potholed and cracked roads. The figures that were released in 2017 show over a two-year period but the number is expected to be even higher as one in four accidents does not have the cause of crash recorded by a police officer.

Currently, laser scanning technology is used to check roads, but this is slow and expensive and can get held up by parked vehicles. In addition, unclassified and rural roads can be difficult to access.

The joint Aston University-Strada Imaging team is trialling a system carried on an electric tricycle which detects potholes in the road that may damage a car or lorry wheel but could lead to serious injury or death for cyclists. 

Low-cost multiple image sensors, optics and light sources record surface measurement. Deep learning and computer vision algorithms automatically detect, classify, and measure surface damage and build accurate 3D surface maps. 
In the UK there are 515,600 lane-miles available to UK cyclists, comprising designated cycle-track, footway and road-network shared with motor vehicles, excluding motorway and trunk roads. 

The cycling groups will help by helping to promote the research and supporting roadshow demonstrations and online presentations that showcase the new technology. The call for support comes as Bike Week is being marked (6-12 June 2022) which this year focuses on getting as many people as possible to enjoy their community by bike.

Professor Rahman said: “We want to hear from cyclists to help us develop our project towards a leading-edge inspection system which can be used by road operators in the UK and abroad.” 

“As climate-related flooding increases the innovation offers automatic identification of locations where surface water can hide potholes from cyclists.  

“We’re all being encouraged to be more active and cut down on car use, so it makes sense to make the roads safer for cyclists.”

The research is supported by funding from Innovate UK, the national innovation agency. Denis Chamberlain, manager of the project, said: “Beyond this, Strada Imaging will manufacture and market the pavement inspection system for the UK and export markets, creating new employment in the manufacturing and road pavement maintenance industries”.

The project will feed into Innovation UK’s Research and Innovation’s Dynamic Environment (RIDE) Forum which is made up of organisations who hold a stake in environmental change research, innovation, training and capabilities, whether as funders, providers or users.

Notes to Editors

Notes to Editors

For more information about Strada Imaging visit www.stradaimaging.com

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Saskia Loer Hansen is the interim Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7825 342091 or email n.jones6@aston.ac.uk

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Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
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    s.p.smith@aston.ac.uk

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