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DfT funds research on tech for pothole repairs


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Two projects using digital technology to detect and repair potholes have received funding from the Department for Transport (DfT).

It said the backing has come as part of the allocation of a £900,000 investment fund for research projects aimed at improving transport systems, with the initial focus on pothole repairs.

One will involve the development of an AI powered app to detect pothole in real time, using mobile phone sensors to measure when cyclists ride over or swerve to avoid them. The DfT said it is hoped the app will help local authorities to quickly identify when potholes are forming and react quickly to fill them in.

The other, named Shape-Pot, involves creating 3D pothole models in the development of a fully autonomous repair platform capable of automatic repairs.

A DfT spokesperson said more details will be released as the programme is rolled out further.

The funding was announced along with news of a much larger package, totalling £93.4 million, to support repairs on roads and bridges and help councils tackle congestion and improve journeys.

Commenting on the broad programme, Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “This investment will not only help local areas to target current pinch points on their roads, but will also harness our world leading research and innovation capabilities to future proof the next generation of journeys.”

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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