Real-Time Implementation of Road Surface Classification using Intelligent Tires

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Virginia Tech

The growth of the automobile Industry in the past 50 years is radical. The development of chassis control systems have grown drastically due to the demand for safer, faster and more comfortable vehicles. For example, the invention of Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) has resulted in saving more than a million lives since its adaptation while also allowing the vehicles to commute faster. As we move into the autonomous vehicles era, demand for additional information about tire-road interaction to improve the performance of the onboard chassis control systems, is high. This is due to the fact that the interaction between the tire and the road surface determines the stability boundary limits of the vehicles. In this research, a real-time system to classify the road surface into five major categories was developed. The five surfaces include Dry Asphalt, Wet Asphalt, Snow, and Ice and dry Concrete. tri-axial accelerometers were placed on the inner liner of the tires. An advanced signal processing technique was utilized along with a machine learning model to classify the road surfaces. The instrumented Volkswagen Jetta with intelligent tires was retrofitted with new instrumentation for collecting data and evaluating the performance of the developed real-time system. A comprehensive study on road surface classification was performed in order to determine the features of the classification algorithm. Performance of the real-time system is discussed in details and compared with offline results.

Intelligent Tires, Surface Classification, Real-Time Implementation, Tire Sensor, Accelerometer