Detroit to use AI system to assess entire road network

RoadBotics, a company that uses artificial intelligence to assess the condition of roads, has been chosen to assess the city of Detroit’s entire 4,185km road network.

Detroit will be the first city to pilot the company’s product, which is intended to enable the city to maintain its roads before they fail, thereby cutting costs and extending the life of the pavement.  

Oladayo Akinyemi, deputy director of Detroit’s Department of Public Works, commented in a press statement: "This partnership and pilot will provide us with data and insights about our road conditions that will help our engineers determine where to objectively allocate our resources and maximise investment in maintaining our residential streets in the best condition."

Mark DeSantis, RoadBotics’ co-founder, added: "Detroit is the iconic American city of the automobile, which means that it’s also the epicentre for American road management. This is why it is so exciting that the City of Detroit will adopt our AI pavement inspection technology to reshape how they manage and maintain the City’s entire road network.

"With 90-plus customers now adopting our technology in the US, we are seeing the positive wave of impact that AI is playing in helping governments of all sizes manage the roads and infrastructure that millions of people use every day."

RoadBotics was formed by academics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in order to bring emerging data analysis technology to bear on road management. The company uses ordinary cars and smartphones to inspect a road network and create a map showing the locations and type of repair that is needed.

The City of Detroit will be the first major US city to use RoadBotics’ AI assessment technology. The agreement was brokered by PlanetM, a Michigan-based partnership between mobility organizations, communities, educational institutions and government agencies.

Image: The terminus of the I-275, aka the Mixing Bowl (US Geological Survey)

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