Standard Active Last Updated: Feb 10, 2021 Track Document
ASTM E1926-08(2021)

Standard Practice for Computing International Roughness Index of Roads from Longitudinal Profile Measurements

Standard Practice for Computing International Roughness Index of Roads from Longitudinal Profile Measurements E1926-08R21 ASTM|E1926-08R21|en-US Standard Practice for Computing International Roughness Index of Roads from Longitudinal Profile Measurements Standard new BOS Vol. 04.03 Committee E17
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Significance and Use

5.1 This practice provides a means for obtaining a quantitative estimate of a pavement property defined as roughness using longitudinal profile measuring equipment.

5.1.1 The IRI is portable in that it can be obtained from longitudinal profiles obtained with a variety of instruments.

5.1.2 The IRI is stable with time because true IRI is based on the concept of a true longitudinal profile, rather than the physical properties of a particular type of instrument.

5.2 Roughness information is a useful input to the pavement management systems (PMS) maintained by transportation agencies.

5.2.1 The IRI for the right wheel track is the measurement of road surface roughness specified by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as the input to their Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS).

5.2.2 When profiles are measured simultaneously for both traveled wheel tracks, then the MRI is considered to be a better measure of road surface roughness than the IRI for either wheel track.

Note 1: The MRI scale is identical to the IRI scale.

5.3 IRI can be interpreted as the output of an idealized response-type measuring system (see Test Method E1082 and Specification E1215), where the physical vehicle and instrumentation are replaced with a mathematical model. The units of slope correspond to accumulated suspension motions (for example, metres), divided by the distance traveled (for example, kilometres).

5.4 IRI is a useful calibration reference for response-type systems that estimate roughness by measuring vehicular response (see Test Method E1082 and Specification E1215).

5.5 IRI can also be interpreted as average absolute slope of the profile, filtered mathematically to modify the amplitudes associated with different wavelengths (3).


1.1 This practice covers the mathematical processing of longitudinal profile measurements to produce a road roughness statistic called the International Roughness Index (IRI).

1.2 The intent is to provide a standard practice for computing and reporting an estimate of road roughness for highway pavements.

1.3 This practice is based on an algorithm developed in the International Road Roughness Experiment sponsored by a number of institutions including the World Bank and reported in two World Bank Technical Papers (1, 2).2 Additional technical information is provided in two Transportation Research Board (TRB) papers (3, 4).

1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The inch-pound units given in parentheses are for information only.

1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.6 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.03
Developed by Subcommittee: E17.33
Pages: 16
DOI: 10.1520/E1926-08R21
ICS Code: 93.080.99