According to the Bangor Daily News the city of Boston is testing a smartphone app called (iPhone only) Street Bump to automatically detect and report potholes. The concept here sounds very smart indeed…letting driver’s phones be used as pothole reporters. The challenge seems to be filtering out extraneous bumps that may or may not be potholes. If you live in the Boston-area, download Street Bump from iTunes and give it a try.
By Rodrique Ngowi, Associated PressPosted July 20, 2012, at 7:01 a.m.
BOSTON (AP) — The next time your car hits a pothole, a new technology could help you immediately tell someone who can do something about it.
Boston officials are testing an app called Street Bump that allows drivers to automatically report the road hazards to the city as soon as they hear that unfortunate “thud,” with their smartphones doing all the work.
The app’s developers say their work has already sparked interest from other cities in the U.S., Europe, Africa and elsewhere that are imagining other ways to harness the technology.
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.