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World’s first pothole robot gets to work


The world’s first pothole-preventing robot, which could revolutionise the way potholes are dealt with, is to be tested on roads in Hertfordshire. The autonomous robot, developed by tech company Robotiz3d and academics at the University of Liverpool in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council Highways Engineers, uses state of the art imaging technology.

The robot, officially called ARRES PREVENT, identifies and characterises cracks and potholes in the road using Artificial Intelligence (AI). It then automatically fills the cracks to keep out surface water, which in turn helps to prevent potholes forming. Hertfordshire County Council says the technology has the potential to save time and money as well as reducing the disruption potholes cause to road users. It could revolutionise the way Hertfordshire and the rest of the world deal with potholes and issues with road surfaces in the future, the council adds.

Cllr Phil Bibby, executive member for highways at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We’re thrilled to be at the coalface of this exciting new technology, working with world-class tech inventors and engineers.

“We’ve long been leading the way in cracking the pothole issue and in recent times have been trialling new and improved ways to fill potholes. As we continue to face another cold winter, we know we’re likely to see an increase in potholes forming as the road surface gets too cold and water and ice get into cracks that have formed over time.

“Using state of the art technology to prevent the potholes forming in the first place could be exactly what we need to ensure our road network remains one of the best in the country. We know this issue matters to our residents, so it matters to us too.”

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