Feasibility of mobile laser scanning towards operational accurate road rut depth measurements

Aimad El Issaoui*, Ziyi Feng, Matti Lehtomäki, Eric Hyyppä, Hannu Hyyppä, Harri Kaartinen, Antero Kukko, Juha Hyyppä

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
137 Downloads (Pure)


This paper studied the applicability of the Roamer-R4DW mobile laser scanning (MLS) system for road rut depth measurement. The MLS system was developed by the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI), and consists of two mobile laser scanners and a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-inertial measurement unit (IMU) positioning system. In the study, a fully automatic algorithm was developed to calculate and analyze the rut depths, and verified in 64 reference pavement plots (1.0 m × 3.5 m). We showed that terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data is an adequate reference for MLS-based rutting studies. The MLS-derived rut depths based on 64 plots resulted in 1.4 mm random error, which can be considered adequate precision for operational rutting depth measurements. Such data, also covering the area outside the pavement, would be ideal for multiple road environment applications since the same data can also be used in applications, from highdefinition maps to autonomous car navigation and digitalization of street environments over time and in space.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1180
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Laser scanning
  • MLS
  • Photogrammetry
  • Point cloud
  • Road maintenance
  • Road mapping
  • Road rut depth
  • TLS


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