Machine Vision System Spots Roadways in Need of Repair

For cities and municipalities, surveying roads that require repair and resurfacing can be tedious, time-consuming work. But a Pittsburgh-based startup is trying to automate some of that process, using intelligent systems to speed up data collection so capital spending decisions can be made more efficiently.

Founded in 2016, Roadbotics is based on a machine vision technology developed at Carnegie Mellon University. Using footage collected from windshield-mounted cameras on cars driving through a road network, the computer vision algorithm has been trained to recognize flaws in road surfaces, including cracks, potholes and spalling. Geotagged road locations are rated on a five-color scale, and the data is collected into a map file that can be loaded into popular GIS imaging software.