Road Construction 4.0 - Autonomous Machines in Road Construction 4.0

Problem statement

Road milling machines, pavers and rollers are the key machines in the complex process chain of road construction. They have to produce the paving material in the required quality according to the relevant guidelines and standards. In the course of increasing quality requirements and costs, it will no longer be sufficient in the future to automate only individual work functions. Rather, it is necessary to link all automated work functions together to form an overall system.


Project objective

The aim of the project is to develop autonomously operating, mobile work machines. Already today, a large number of sensors and controlled or regulated actuators operate within road construction machines and the process chain. However, these are independent of each other and have to be set or operated manually by the operator; there is usually no exchange of information between the machine elements. Here, networking of the individual systems is required to optimize the interaction beyond the current state of the art and to enable autonomous working. A road milling machine, paver and roller will serve as an example in the project.



An important component of the project is the communication of sensors, actuators and control systems on a higher, preferably standardized and yet open protocol level, which also enables a secure connection to the Internet. Previously incompatible partial solutions are to be brought together in an innovative concept. In some cases, 3D terrain models of construction measures and exact planning data on the course of the road and the paving parameters to be achieved also exist. For the planning data and the 3D terrain models, interfaces to the higher-level data processing must be developed in the project. The main aim is to make better use of the existing data. Furthermore, the machine's drive train must meet the requirements for autonomous operation. To this end, electrically driven drive systems for road pavers must be developed.

Tasks 3D Mapping Solutions

Development of a scanning method for determining the nominal and actual values of the geometric pavement parameters. For this purpose, an accurate measurement of the road surface is required before and after paving. It is planned to determine the target trajectory of the paver on the basis of the previously recorded surface, thus enabling autonomous control of the paver. The subsequently recorded surface allows a target/actual comparison or a comparison between the previously and subsequently recorded surface. The measured surface of the paved asphalt layer can later provide important data for upcoming BIM (Building Information Model) processes and thus play an important role in digitalization in road construction.

Project duration
01/2017 – 12/2019

Project website