Pothole problems solved with 3D and AI technology

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Written by
Isabelle Miller

Head of Business Development and Partnership Solutions at GPC Systems Ltd

Pothole problems solved with 3D and AI technology

Every driver will know that sinking feeling of seeing a pothole in the road a little too late to avoid it and the inevitable clunk as the wheel drops into the hole. You spend the rest of the journey thinking about the potential damage; listening out for unusual noises and checking the steering is still working correctly.

It’s turns out that it’s a universal problem that has been plaguing drivers since the invention of the car. Wikipedia tells us that the American Automobile Association estimated that over five years up to 16 million drivers in the United States had suffered damage from potholes to their vehicles – at a cost of $3 billion a year. In India, 3,000 people per year are killed in accidents involving potholes. In the UK, it has been estimated that the cost of fixing all roads with potholes would cost £12 billion.

Many countries have tried to find a cost effective solution to the problem. Prisoners were even drafted in to fix Rome’s potholes on its historic streets but now a new technological solution looks set to help relieve the problem.

The innovative software company GPC Systems is using 3D and AI technology to fix the problem of potholes faster. Until now, identifying and repairing potholes has been a reactive, expensive and difficult to manage process. GPC’s 3D Pothole Dimensioning Software uses the technology to provide an accurate and timely picture of the road network and identification of roads likely to deteriorate.

This allows quicker and more efficient repairs, reducing claims and allowing councils to proactively manage roads.

By allowing inspectors to quickly take a photo of the pothole on a mobile computing device, such as a rugged Panasonic TOUGHBOOK M1 with integrated Intel® RealSense Technology,  the measurement software can instantly analyse the width and depth of the hole and calculate the volume and type of materials needed for repair.

GPC are long term, integral partners with both Panasonic and Intel enabling and proving success utilising the Intel® RealSense Technology.

And the pothole solution is having international success. A distribution contract will see the 3D modelling solution deployed on the famous Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a venue for NASCAR, where elite NASCAR drivers reach speeds of near 200 miles per hour on an oval track.

In the UK, Durham and Blaenau Gwent Council, supported by the GovTech Catalyst, have also  just awarded GPC a contract to develop their innovative 3D technology for use in detecting road defects.

The GovTech Catalyst, run by the Government Digital Service, is a fund that allows suppliers to solve public sector problems using emerging technology.

In April, the UK’s Department of Transport announced £201 million funding for the road  network  and £50 million allocated to councils for pothole resilience and £23 million for trials of  new technologies for pothole repair.

With almost £1 billion currently spent repairing potholes in the UK and according to the RAC,  most repairs being short term patches, this solution looks set for a smooth roll-out across many  countries and cities as they look for a solution to their pothole problems.

For more information on innovative Panasonic partner software solutions visit the website.

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