Google has filed a patent for new technology that aims at identifying and tracking potholes on the U.S. streets.
The system would use different sensor and location-tracking information to find out the areas where road surface is damaged and advise users on alternative safer routes.
While at the moment there are regional efforts in the country to map out potholes in order to warn drivers, nothing automated or at a big scale as Google is proposing has been implemented. If information were to be correlated with the millions of cars out there, and then integrated with Google Maps, motorists would receive current and real-time information that might help them avoid trouble to their cars.
Houston and Detroit are only two examples of cities in the U.S. with troubled roads. States with four seasons encounter road surface damages due to temperature variations. The melting and freezing of water during winters lead to pavement crevices that compromise its structure, causing potholes. And potholes are not only a cause for road anger, but an important reason why many cars get damaged. And that is not the only bad effect of potholes, as they could cause damages to other vehicles involved in traffic. A flat tire after hitting a pothole might make for a blockage in traffic. Swerving to avoid a pothole can cause a crash and its then added-on consequences.
As recent surveys outlined that lost productivity because of traffic jams every year in the U.S. accounts for $160 billion a year, which also includes gas wasted while waiting in car lines and vehicle damages, it adds to the reasons why Google’s initiative is indeed a helpful and needed one.
While Google Maps and other GPS navigation systems can help drivers avoid areas where accidents took place or where the traffic is heavy, Google seems to back things up even a bit more, by proactively warning people driving out there where to avoid in the first place the eventuality of a car accident or simply expensive car damages.
By Gabriela Florea