Detection of Asphalt Pavement Potholes and Cracks Based on the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Multispectral Imagery

Yifan Pan, Xianfeng Zhang, Guido Cervone, Liping Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Asphalt roads are the basic component of a land transportation system, and the quality of asphalt roads will decrease during the use stage because of the aging and deterioration of the road surface. In the end, some road pavement distresses may appear on the road surface, such as the most common potholes and cracks. In order to improve the efficiency of pavement inspection, currently some new forms of remote sensing data without destructive effect on the pavement are widely used to detect the pavement distresses, such as digital images, light detection and ranging, and radar. Multispectral imagery presenting spatial and spectral features of objects has been widely used in remote sensing application. In our study, the multispectral pavement images acquired by unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) were used to distinguish between the normal pavement and pavement damages (e.g., cracks and potholes) using machine learning algorithms, such as support vector machine, artificial neural network, and random forest. Comparison of the performance between different data types and models was conducted and is discussed in this study, and indicates that a UAV remote sensing system offers a new tool for monitoring asphalt road pavement condition, which can be used as decision support for road maintenance practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8454262
Pages (from-to)3701-3712
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Atmospheric Science


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