Road infrastructure in countries like India is expanding at a rapid pace and is becoming increasingly difficult for authorities to identify and fix the bad roads in time. Current Geographical Information Systems (GIS) lack information about on-road features like road surface type, speed breakers and dynamic attribute data like the road quality. Hence there is a need to build road monitoring systems capable of collecting such information periodically. Limitations of satellite imagery with respect to the resolution and availability, makes road monitoring primarily an on-field activity. Monitoring is currently performed using special vehicles that are fitted with expensive laser scanners and need skilled resource besides providing only very low coverage. Hence such systems are not suitable for continuous road monitoring. Cheaper alternative systems using sensors like accelerometer and GPS (Global Positioning System) exists but they are not equipped to achieve higher information levels. This paper presents a prototype system MAARGHA (MAARGHA in Sanskrit language means an eternal path to solution), which demonstrates that it can overcome the disadvantages of the existing systems by fusing multi-sensory data like camera image, accelerometer data and GPS trajectory at an information level, apart from providing additional road information like road surface type. MAARGHA has been tested across different road conditions and sensor data characteristics to assess its potential applications in real world scenarios. The developed system achieves higher information levels when compared to state of the art road condition estimation systems like Roadroid. The system performance in road surface type classification is dependent on the local environmental conditions at the time of imaging. In our study, the road surface type classification accuracy reached 100% for datasets with near ideal environmental conditions and dropped down to 60% for datasets with shadows and obstacles.
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