DOI: 10.3390/infrastructures9030058 ISSN: 2412-3811

Transport Infrastructure Management Based on LiDAR Synthetic Data: A Deep Learning Approach with a ROADSENSE Simulator

Lino Comesaña-Cebral, Joaquín Martínez-Sánchez, Antón Nuñez Seoane, Pedro Arias
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • General Materials Science
  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

In the realm of transportation system management, various remote sensing techniques have proven instrumental in enhancing safety, mobility, and overall resilience. Among these techniques, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) has emerged as a prevalent method for object detection, facilitating the comprehensive monitoring of environmental and infrastructure assets in transportation environments. Currently, the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based methods, particularly in the domain of semantic segmentation of 3D LiDAR point clouds by Deep Learning (DL) models, is a powerful method for supporting the management of both infrastructure and vegetation in road environments. In this context, there is a lack of open labeled datasets that are suitable for training Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) in transportation scenarios, so, to fill this gap, we introduce ROADSENSE (Road and Scenic Environment Simulation), an open-access 3D scene simulator that generates synthetic datasets with labeled point clouds. We assess its functionality by adapting and training a state-of-the-art DL-based semantic classifier, PointNet++, with synthetic data generated by both ROADSENSE and the well-known HELIOS++ (HEildelberg LiDAR Operations Simulator). To evaluate the resulting trained models, we apply both DNNs on real point clouds and demonstrate their effectiveness in both roadway and forest environments. While the differences are minor, the best mean intersection over union (MIoU) values for highway and national roads are over 77%, which are obtained with the DNN trained on HELIOS++ point clouds, and the best classification performance in forested areas is over 92%, which is obtained with the model trained on ROADSENSE point clouds. This work contributes information on a valuable tool for advancing DL applications in transportation scenarios, offering insights and solutions for improved road and roadside management.

More from our Archive