Your smartphone is the latest weapon in the fight against potholes

RoadBotics' developed software uses the data to create a dynamic roadmap so that the status of roads, flyovers, and bridges can be monitored real-time.

By: | Published: February 18, 2018 1:20 PM
bmc pothole, bmc pothole death, mumbai pothole death, smart city mission, swachh bharat mission, india potholes, pothole problem in india, pothole accidents in india, municipal bodies, municipalities, problems of municipalities Representational Image: Mumbai roads are riddled with potholes. (IE file)

Road management in India is now an easy job. The number of potholes we go through on daily bases is countless and in many ways, our minds have gotten used to this routine travel on potholes. India has one of the largest road networks in the world and is often very difficult for the government officials to monitor and keep a track of such a vast network with a limited budget. Also, most of the time the budget is allocated to construct new roads and very less towards road management. The poor quality of roads also makes driving unpleasant, creating traffic jams and adding to the overall chaos.

U.S based tech company, RoadBotics now has a solution that will help if not to resolve, but reduce the magnitude of this issue. The company has invested its time and money developing algorithms and some very smart Artificial Technology that works using your smartphones' camera to constantly monitor the conditions of roads as you drive and travel around. While this is currently being implemented on in America, the sheer idea to create something like this and handing it over to Road Transport offices sounds like a plan to reduce the number of potholes in the country. The app is designed to spot poor road conditions and the results are then verified by qualified inspectors based on which the roads can be repaired.

RoadBotics' developed software uses the data to create a dynamic roadmap so that the status of roads, flyovers, and bridges can be monitored real-time.

In an interview to Digital Trends, Mark DeSantis, CEO, Robotics commented, “We use a standard smartphone and any vehicle, in combination with our cloud-based deep learning platform, to assess the quality of roadways including road surfaces, signage and other common features of urban, rural roads and highways,”

The fact that a smartphone mobile app can detect this with accuracy is commendable. Mark further says that “A standard cell phone is mounted anywhere on a dash or windshield with the phone’s camera pointed forward. The app is turned on and begins collecting video data. That video data is stored on the phone until the phone sees a friendly Wi-Fi, at which point all of the image data is automatically uploaded to our platform, which then produces a multicolored road network assessment map.”

Currently, the technology has been implemented in 22 cities in the USA and the company will soon be venturing this outside of America soon.

“Currently, we collect the data on behalf of our customers to add to our customer’s convenience as well as learn in detail some of the challenges with collecting data,” he said. “However, we’ve been testing several fleets, customer, and even crowd-sourced data collection tools,” Mark added.

Citizens using this on their personal smartphone to generate data is a good idea especially when they get better-maintained roads and highways. In a country like India, it does sound like a good idea to monitor road conditions provided the officials monitoring are trained and the efficiency of such mobile apps is proved to be accurate.

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