EU H2020

Value to Coventry University


Total value of project


Project team

Project duration

01/01/16 - 31/03/19

Crowd 4 Roads logo.

Project overview

The CROWD4ROADS project combines trip sharing and crowd sensing initiatives to harness collective intelligence to contribute to the solution of the sustainability issues of road passenger transport, by increasing the car occupancy rate and by engaging drivers and passengers in road monitoring.

Project objectives

The project will tackle 5 specific objectives:

  • Develop and deploy a scalable digital social platform combining community-scale trip sharing (namely, BlaBlaCar) and crowd sensing of road quality (namely, SmartRoadSense) in order to harness network effect and collective intelligence;
  • Empower citizens as active members of a network able to induce more sustainable car usage habits and better informed road maintenance decisions;
  • Develop real-world pilots at urban, regional, and national scale, involving millions of people and covering millions of kilometres of roads. 1,000,000 people; monitored roads exceeding 1,000,000 kilometres;
  • Provide to policy makers and public administrators up to date open data on the roughness of the road surface;
  • Provide to policy makers and public administrators gamification and incentive mechanisms to be possibly applied on top of the social platform to motivate the participation of specific target groups into the project, in order to raise awareness on road sustainability issues and to engage drivers and passengers in road monitoring.
  • CROWD4ROADS leverages the sharing economy to allow citizens to take active part in the sustainability of the road network, while creating a synergistic relationship between public and private stakeholders. The impact of the project is two-fold: direct impacts include continuous collaborative monitoring of road quality and more sustainable car usage habits adopted by community members; indirect impacts include the emergence of crowd-sensing and gamification as feasible means to empower and engage end-users in sustainability challenges.

    The progress beyond the state of the art achieved can be mainly recognized in the creation of a thorough ecosystem encompassing and integrating:

    • advanced crowd-sensing technologies,
    • carpooling platforms,
    • gamification techniques (main contribution from Coventry University),
    • reward mechanisms,
    • open data.

    The project has led to many scientific contributions in the fields of crowd-sensing, gamification, open data management, and road monitoring. The SmartRoadSense mobile application has been adopted in several public and private road monitoring projects, including public monitoring of the Buckinghamshire county in the UK, road network assessment in Novara, Mantova, the whole Marche Region in Italy (with an overall coverage of more than 80% of the total road network), and Regione Abruzzo. More than 3500 users have been involved in the data collection process.

    The constitution of the “DIGIT srl” spin-off company (by the project lead that is based on the SmartRoad Sense application) ensures that the technical instruments developed within the CROWD4ROADS project are developed and maintained in the following years (including SmartRoadSense and the WOM platform). The spin-off will focus on further in-depth validation and experimentation, aiming at the development of complete solutions for accessible road monitoring, that will enable public administrations and private road maintenance companies to get access to reliable information about road infrastructure status in an efficient and economical manner.

    Two Italian business associations (Confesercenti Pesaro e Urbino, Confcommercio Pesaro e Urbino/Marche Nord) signed an expression of interest to provide services and goods in exchange of WOMs. The University of Urbino also officially agreed to adopt the WOM platform by rewarding students for their efforts using WOMs. Also, Regione Marche has agreed to incorporate the WOM platform in its offering of carpooling solutions, both for internal staff members and the public, as a way of implementing its policies for more sustainable road transport solutions. A real-world city-level platform pilot has started in August 2019 in Urbino. DIGIT srl is currently collecting feedbacks from citizens and dealers involved in the experiment in order to further improve the platform UI design and usability.

    Preliminary projects in this direction are currently underway, thanks to a cooperation with the Pavement division of the Danish Road Directorate (Vejdirektoratet) and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), with the intent of integrating SmartRoadSense within the traditional road maintenance operations. First experiments focus on the validation of crowd-sensed data collection against road quality data extracted from traditional monitoring solutions using dedicated vehicles, which will provide the groundwork to the development of full-fledged road monitoring systems that integrate and complement existing solutions.

    All data generated by SmartRoadSense is provided under an open license, as Open Data. The generated dataset has been integrated in the GOODPA Open Data collection and the Data are updated every 6 hours and cover more than 64,000 km of roads, while the road monitoring system has been extended to Romania, UK, Greece, Portugal, Hungary and Denmark.


Mobile games – levels automatically generated using real crowdsources data.

Visit the project Pure profile for more information.

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