Many state and local agencies collect downward pavement imagery using highway-speed data collection vehicles. The images are subsequently processed using proprietary semi- or fully-automated crack detection and classification software to identify pavement cracking for use in asset management systems.
There are multiple methods and software for defining, classifying, and reporting cracking data. In addition, these methods and the cracking data they produce are not always comparable between states, even if similar data collection and detection technologies are used. One outcome of this situation is that vendors must customize the cracking definitions for each client they serve. In order to unify data reporting, sharing, and evaluation, standardization of pavement cracking definitions is needed.
Research is needed to define cracking measurement terms for uniformity and potential standardization, building upon work done in AASHTO PP 67 and 68. The standard definitions will aid in sharing information among agencies and vendors as well as reporting to FHWA and setting national, state, and local performance goals.
The objective of this research was to develop standard, discrete definitions for common cracking types in flexible, rigid, and composite pavements.
NCHRP Web-Only Document 288, Standard Definitions for Common Types of Pavement Cracking, is available here for download.