SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1985

Development, Implementation, and Application of the Reference Quarter-Car Simulation


An analysis of longitudinal road profile called the reference quarter-car simulation (RQCS), described in National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 228, has been applied in a number of research projects and was recently selected as the basis for an international roughness index to be used in World Bank projects. Calibration guidelines are provided for agencies without profilometers so that they can calibrate response-type road roughness measuring systems to the reference. Relationships are shown between the RQCS and subjective panel ratings, dynamic pavement loading from heavy trucks, and the ride quality of passenger cars and heavy trucks. The RQCS is compared and contrasted with alternative summary roughness statistics also used to process profiles. Potential future developments in analyzing longitudinal profiles are discussed, in light of the present trend away from response-type systems and towards profile-measuring instruments for determining road roughness.

Author Information

Sayers, M
Transportation Research Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
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Developed by Committee: E17
Pages: 25–47
DOI: 10.1520/STP34593S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4948-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0428-0