Today’s challenge is to avoid potholes that are blocking your way.  My approach was to create lists of problems associated with avoiding and repairing potholes from my (the uneducated driver’s) perspective.  As always, time-boxed to 10 minutes.

Avoid and/or fix potholes in asphalt

Avoidance

* Hard to know where they are
* Waze helps but on a 5 lane highway knowing there is one “ahead” is basically useless
* When driving, I can’t safely report a pothole location
* Unclear when they have been repaired

Fixing

* City-level reporting is often done through an app or website. This is challenging because I hit the pothole while driving and now I have to remember many facts to accurately report it.
* How do I track that it’s been fixed?
* Many repairs fail and it’s obvious they are failing early enough that it might be possible to mitigate it less expensively.
* Cities throw down a repair and then as cars drive over it, half is compressed down and half bubbles up.

Idea: more accurate, passive, reporting of potholes.

Create, or modify an existing, ODB2 connected “Smart Car” device to detect pothole impacts (ideally by monitoring the suspension, but an accelerometer-based would possibly be sufficient if the an appropriate model were developed). When a pothole impact is detected, the date/time, high-precision lat/long and estimate of relative size would be created and uploaded to a central authority which would communicate this information to municipalities for repair. In areas where repairs are contracted out to non-city employees, they could have access to this information as well in order to create proposals for new work.

This would allow high-quality, but passively generated, data which could be monetized while benefiting the public.


Photo by Steven Arenas from Pexels (https://www.instagram.com/arenas_varela/)