European Road Safety Inspection (EuRSI) Research Project
T McCarthy, C McElhinney, National Centre for Geocomputation, IE
Key Words: Three-dimensional, Reconstruction, Inventory, Infrastructure, Fusion, LIDAR, Imagery, Risk Assessment
Road transportation in Europe is a high value sector area having a turn-over of almost ?2.5 trillion in 2006 with almost 293 million vehicles travelling on over 5 million kilometres of road-network, (EU Transport Statistics, 2009). In the same year, just under 43,000 people were killed on European roads (EU Transport Statistics, 2009). In 2001, the European Commission drafted an objective to reduce the present number of deaths by half to 25,000 by 2010 (EU Road Safety Charter, 2009). There are three main areas that influence road-safety; vehicle, driver behaviour and route environment or infrastructure. Safety aspects of road vehicle are covered by a number of eSafetyAware initiatives such as European new car assessment (EuroNCAP) programme, (EU Transport, 2009). Improvements in driver behaviour are covered by a number of initiatives including training, driver licensing, enforcement as well as ongoing research projects. Road infrastructure safety has become a key area of interest within the transportation sector and is supported by a number of directives and initiatives. A Tunnel Directive came into force 1 May 2004, promoting greater driver safety in tunnel environments. A road infrastructure safety management directive (Directive 2008/96/EC) has already been adopted by the Commission and is currently passing through various legislative processes (EU Transport, 2009). This directive focuses on four specific areas; road-safety impact assessment, road-safety audit, high accident concentration ranking and safety inspections of existing roads. This directive will come into force December 2010 and member states will have to adopt ?guidelines in order to support the competent entities?. These entities include both public and private organisations involved in implementing the directive.. Over 40% of European road related fatalities and injuries occur along rural or secondary road networks (RIPCORDa, 2007). Rural roads constitute a large per-centage of the total route network throughout Europe (EU Transport Statistics, 2009). Road safety audits and inspections vary across Europe for example, only 10 out of 20 European countries surveyed were obliged to carry out Road Safety Audits in 2007 (Euro-Audits, 2007). The current road infrastructure directive seeks to address this shortcoming by compelling member states to adopt and implement more standardised road safety assessment procedures. Current road inspection surveys are manually intensive and involve an engineer annotating a digital map or using spatially referenced video to manually classify various features along the route (RIPCORD, 2007; SWOV, 2007 and EuroRAP, 2005). A recent research call highlighted the requirement for common evaluation tools and implementation strategies in carrying out these inspections and assessing risk along route corridors (ERA-NET, 2009). NCG together with four other partners including ITC, The Netherlands were successful in submitting a proposal ?European Road Safety Inspection? (EuRSI) to address some of the deficiencies in current road safety inspection based on latest mobile mapping technology.
NCG were awarded funding from Science Foundation Ireland to coordinate a strategic research centre in Advanced Geotechnologies at NUI Maynooth. This multi-disciplinary group called StratAG (StratAG, 2009) have just completed design and construction of a novel mobile mapping experimental platform (XP-1) comprising an IXSEA LandINS GPS/INS, a 3D LiDAR sensor, and imaging system . Various automated and semi-automated approaches to processing geocoded LiDAR and image data will be investigated in order to extract features and reconstruct the route corridor in 3D. These intrinsic route corridor features will then be integrated with other datasets such as traffic collisions, pavement surface condition, and traffic volume to examine a more comprehensive approach to risk assessment along rural roads. This paper will report on initial results of this research project.
Association for European Transport