© 2017 by the authors. Active contour models present a robust segmentation approach, which makes efficient use of specific information about objects in the input data rather than processing all of the data. They have been widely-used in many applications, including image segmentation, object boundary localisation, motion tracking, shape modelling, stereo matching and object reconstruction. In this paper, we investigate the potential of active contour models in extracting road edges from Mobile Laser Scanning (MLS) data. The categorisation of active contours based on their mathematical representation and implementation is discussed in detail. We discuss an integrated version in which active contour models are combined to overcome their limitations. We review various active contour-based methodologies, which have been developed to extract road features from LiDAR and digital imaging datasets. We present a case study in which an integrated version of active contour models is applied to extract road edges from MLS dataset. An accurate extraction of left and right edges from the tested road section validates the use of active contour models. The present study provides valuable insight into the potential of active contours for extracting roads from 3D LiDAR point cloud data.