Street maintenance can be a Sisyphean task. Like in the myth of the Greek king sentenced to push a boulder up a hill for all of eternity, the work of paving and filling potholes and cracks is never really done.
But Pittsburgh company RoadBotics is working to make the task a little less maddening for municipalities, by creating a detailed, interactive map of road conditions.
Each of the company’s drivers is equipped with two smartphones. One phone is affixed on the car dashboard and continuously takes a high definition video of the roadway. The other phone tells the driver the route to take, following municipality-owned and maintained roads.
After the drive is complete, the video is uploaded to a company cloud. Then, the artificial intelligence takes over.
“It basically chops up that video into images,” said Shane Witt, a business development representative at RoadBotics. “So you get an image for every 10 foot length of road.”