Although 69% of U.S. entrepreneurs start their businesses at home — and many of us are continuing to work remotely due to the pandemic — that doesn’t mean you aren’t using your vehicle at all. If and when you head out on the open road to take a drive, you might notice too late that the street is in poor condition. And if you navigate your vehicle over one too many potholes, you might have to pay the price at the repair shop.
Over 90% of parking lot areas are surfaced with asphalt pavement, with many U.S. roads featuring this material. It’s even popular in home construction, as four out of five houses are covered in asphalt shingles. But that doesn’t mean that asphalt isn’t prone to cracking and other damage. In fact, a recent report published in USA Today revealed that our nation’s infrastructure is in a sorry state, with 21.8% of roads being in poor condition. This can present a safety hazard to motorists and even lead to vehicular damage, in some cases.
But in India, a new phone app is helping drivers avoid those risks. The app, called Intents Go, collects data pertaining to potholes and other road barriers and uses that data to alert users about obstructions that could derail their driving. Developed by a software firm based in Gurugram, the Android app also offers navigation with turn-by-turn voice features and alerts. It even calculates the depth and size of potholes and can provide additional information about traffic bottlenecks and even waterlogging — all without requiring users to create an account or collecting private data.
TebreZ Alam, the founder of Intents Mobi, explained in a statement: More than 400 lives are lost on average on India’s roads every day and we started Intents Mobi to do our part to bring this number down to zero. We are leveraging the power of technology to develop road safety solutions that are not only effective but also scalable for the masses. Intents Go is one such step in our journey to make Indian roads safer for all.”
According to the company, its users are mapping more than 750,000 kilometers of road each day, with more than 150,000 potholes and speed breakers recorded thus far. The company claims to be removing 30,000 potholes per day based on their data, as potholes are removed from its system once more than 10 vehicles pass by a spot where a repaired pothole once existed. The next step, they say, is to craft a machine learning algorithm that will be used to measure the severity of reported potholes and bring that data to users. They’re also working on a version of the app for iOS.
Although such an app is not yet available in the U.S., there are some region-specific apps that may help improve the roads. In Western Massachusetts, an app called Carbin can record driver data in an effort to help motorists avoid potholes. In Westfield, New Jersey, residents can report potholes to the municipality through their official app. And in Abilene, Texas, the city has seen tremendous success through their pothole reporting initiative through their app. But none of these options is widespread enough to help drivers throughout a particular state, much less the entire nation. For now, American drivers will mostly have to keep their eyes peeled for potholes to keep their cars protected — and report road damage to their cities the old fashioned way.