Google Map of Potholes & Street-light

posted by Ravi Arora June 13, 2018

With the onset of monsoon and the increasing temperatures for the 2019 General Elections in India, Google maps of potholes might be a good gift for citizens. The idea could be extended to include illumination level on streets in the city or town. This could be further extended to include noise levels in the public and residential areas. Can’t this be made a part of the Smart City plan and why can’t it be made part of the Prime Minister’s performance dashboard?

It is not difficult to achieve but will it be useful? It will solve problems:

Information about the condition of the road will be useful to decide the route that one would like to take, especially during situations when someone needs a smoother ride even at the cost of longer travel time. This information can also be used to provide warnings to drivers in case of a large pot-hole in an otherwise a good road, which could become a very unsafe condition.

Darkness on the roads during the night is cause of accidents and makes pedestrians feel insecure. It would be a great service for citizens to know the illumination levels on the road if they need to walk some distance.

The above information would also help bring a lot of transparency about the current condition of the infrastructure and make the agencies accountable. It could also be used to improve the contract management and governance process.

Satellite image with the current technology will not be able to provide solution. We need a few sensors powered by an Artificial Intelligence engine to achieve this. Sensors available in our mobile phones could be used or special sensors could be installed in a few vehicles that regularly cover the length and breadth of the cities eg: garbage collecting vehicles, or the vehicles used for home delivery. Whatever the solution, in absence of a revenue model, we need a frugal solution that can be deployed in all cities and towns.

I look forward to your thoughts and suggestions.

This was the 3rd and last post to show that if we unearth old problems and apply current technologies to solve them, it might result in several innovations. If you are interested, you may refer to the opportunities that problems of commuting present and the problems the passengers face while travelling in the train.