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Digital Roads of the Future


Name: Dr Xiang WANG

Academic Division: Civil Engineering

Research Group:  Bio-Inspired Robotics Laboratory

Fellowship period: 02 January 2024 – 01 January 2027


Research Interests

Dr Xiang Wang’s research interests include the development and application of sensor and sensing techniques for non-destructive testing and structural health monitoring with advanced signal processing methods.

Strategic Themes

  1. Road surface condition monitoring
  2. Sensor technology
  3. Artifical intelligence

Research Project

Existing road monitoring devices use specialized sensing technologies for detecting damage or bulk properties. However, they are expensive to develop, has low update rate and is limited in their sensing capabilities. This project aims to use non-conventional readily available sensors for road condition monitoring. For instance, using IMUs and traction information in autonomous cars for detecting onset of aquaplaning.

Title: Artificial intelligence assistant autonomous-vehicle-mounted sensors based road surface condition monitoring system


Automation and Robotics


Road transportation is an important component of transportation. Numerous roads to be monitored are a challenge for the management by the authorities. Untimely road maintenance endangers the safety of drivers and vehicles. Low-cost and high-efficiency Road Surface Monitoring (RSM) becomes an important target for future roads. Conventional RSM systems have the disadvantages of high costs and difficulty to be improved. Automated driving shows potential for future road transportation. Will autonomous vehicles mounted with non-conventional sensors monitoring roads be a future RSM solution? This research will develop a low-cost RSM system mainly based on autonomous-vehicle-mounted Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) sensors. The onset of aquaplaning is a key research point and is expected to be monitored by the RSM system. Information processing in complex road environments is a major difficulty in this research. Data fusion methods and artificial intelligence will be developed for the RSM system. This research mainly consists of three stages. The first stage is to study the scenarios where there is a high risk of aquaplaning for vehicles. The second stage is to develop the RSM system for these scenarios and to study the signal acquisition of the onset of aquaplaning in the laboratory. The third stage is to conduct a field study in multiple real scenarios in Cambridge. This research will realize a low-cost vehicle-mounted-sensor mobile RSM system which is helpful to improve the driving safety of drivers and vehicles and improve road maintenance efficiency.


Dr Xiang Wang obtained his PhD at Delft University of Technology with his PhD thesis on Development of Distributed Fibre Optic Sensing for Structural Health Monitoring. During his PhD research, he published 4 journal papers on the topic of sensors and sensing methods for Structural Health Monitoring (SHM), 3 international conference papers and 1 invited article for the magazine of PhotonicsNL. He was the winner of many international events. Before he was appointed as the Marie Curie Fellow at the Future Roads project at the University of Cambridge, he was appointed as a postdoctoral researcher funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) at the non-destructive testing laboratory at the Delft University of Technology and was appointed as a postdoctoral fellow funded by Research Talent Hub for Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) at the department of electronic and information engineering at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.