Pothole tracking app is roadtested
An app called 'Street Bump' allows drivers to automatically report potholes is being roadtested by officials in Boston in the United States.
The app's developers say their work has already sparked interest from other cities in the US, Europe, Africa.
Before they even start their trip, drivers using Street Bump fire up the app, then set their smartphones either on the dashboard or in a cup holder. The app takes care of the rest, using the phone's accelerometer - a motion-detector - to sense when a bump is hit. GPS records the location, and the phone transmits it to a remote servers hosted by Amazon Inc's web services division.
The system filters out things like manhole covers and speed bump using a series of algorithms - including one that can tell if the initial motion is up over a speed bump, as opposed to down into a pothole. If at least three people hit a bump in the same spot, the system recognizes it as a pothole.
City officials hope the app might eventually allow them to save money by creating a real-time map of potholes that need to be fixed and eliminating the need to send out city trucks or contract an engineering company to troll hundreds of miles of roadways looking for damage.
Street Bump became available for free in the iTunes store in June, and experts are working on the Android version.