Philadelphia’s roads — those in Center City, at least — are the best in the country, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce determined by using artificial intelligence to survey conditions in 20 metropolitan areas.
Here’s how the study worked: Analysts with Pittsburgh-based RoadBotics mounted smartphones to cars’ windshields and drove roughly 75 miles through cities across the country. The phones’ captured video of pavement, from which artificial intelligence identified potholes, cracks and other distresses. Cities were then ranked based on an aggregated score.
The survey of Philly spanned only 72 miles of the 2,575 miles that comprise the city. Cars traveled as far south as Catharine Street in Bella Vista and as far north as Wylie Street in Francisville. Fifth Street served as the eastern boundary, and cars went as far west as Pennsylvania Avenue just past the Museum of Art…
Translation: Philadelphia’s spot on the rankings could have been very different — or nonexistent — had the cars traveled outside Center City onto roads that are not as frequently maintained.