Futuristic tech helps fill thousands of potholes in record time

3 August 2020

two men filling a pothole with a tube-like machine

More than 4,900 potholes have been filled in Brent in the last three months thanks to pioneering new technology. As well as being quicker and smarter, the works also came in at less than half the usual cost.

While the roads were quieter, Brent Council partnered with Vaisala to deploy a vehicle loaded up with clever dash-cams. As it drove the borough’s 340-mile network of streets, video technology mapped the road surface and identified defects. The whole process took just six days, a fraction of the time conventional surveys usually take.

Using artificial intelligence, the video was automatically analysed, identifying and categorising the potholes. Then, partnering with a company called Yotta, this data was passed through a separate system*, which prioritised maintenance works.

Armed with this fuller picture, the council deployed Velocity, pothole specialists, to repair the defects starting with the highest-priority. The Velocity method uses injection-patching, which cuts carbon emissions by 90% compared to traditional repair techniques, as well as taking just 2 minutes instead of 20 minutes to complete. A review of these injection-patched repairs carried out over the last two years found this method to be very durable.

Overall, doing the repairs this way cost less than half as much as using traditional methods, allowing more roads to be fixed around the borough.

Cllr Krupa Sheth, Lead Member for Environment, said: “By rethinking old approaches and exploring new technologies, we’ve been able to repair more roads at the same time as saving money and cutting our carbon footprint. I’m thrilled with what we’ve been able to deliver for residents in such a short amount of time.”

 

* Yotta’s Horizons asset management platform