New CMU system is set to cut road surveying costs with the use of ordinary, consumer digital cameras

A senior project scientist at Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Robotics Institute is researching how smartphones and ordinary, cheap digital cameras could be used as reporting tools for inspecting road infrastructure problems for municipalities.

Christoph Mertz, principal project scientist at CMU in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, is working on a smartphone-based road infrastructure inspection project that examines ways a device, as common as a smartphone or digital camera, can give municipalities a fast and inexpensive method for inspecting their roadways for problems, such as potholes, cracks in sidewalks or pavements, graffiti on stop signs, and icy surfaces that need salting.