Ah, the pothole: nature’s answer to the hubris of man’s infrastructure ambitions. However strong we build our roads, there’s no escaping the ravages of time. Treacherous voids appear in the asphalt, waiting for a passing wheel to fall prey to its damaging dent. Some municipalities are fighting back with self-healing, steel-infused roads, others are paving with plastic—all in an effort to combat the pothole scourge.
But a new device promises to aid in identifying and tracking the worst potholes before the cost of fixing them gets so out of hand that a city has to go back to gravel. Created by the Texas-based company Thing for Things, the small, boxy device can be attached to nearly any car, and collects GPS coordinates and vibration information—detecting potholes and their severity wherever the vehicle drives. A fleet of such sensor-equipped cars has the potential to give cities valuable information to guide more cost-effective anti-pothole measures. The data collected could also lend to an app that tells drivers which routes have the smoothest road conditions.
“Right now, cities deal with this by relying on the common population to report issues with streets or they will send out trucks to manually look at the problems,” said Thing for Things CEO Ashok Sami in an interview with WFAA. “It would be nice to automate the whole process and get data from a lot of different automobiles on the street.”
Via: Construction Dive