Case Study: Road Management

Pothole management Public Roads Management Australia (Successful Pilot)

Pothole Management – The Problems

The ever-increasing severity of weather presents deep challenges for pothole management by the public authorities running road management programs. Worsening weather causes increased damage to roads, which creates marked risks.

For Road maintenance services increased road damage

  • Increases the risks of accidents
  • Increases the risks of damage to vehicles, which
  • Increases the risks of litigation.

Combined, this means public authorities need to monitor the roads more frequently for active damage.

For Insurance companies increased road damage

  • Increases accident risk,
  • Increases the risk of increasing insurance claims and
  • likely rising insurance premiums for consumers.

QORD took an out-of-the box approach using an Internet of Things (IoT) solution to solve these problems.

(As we begin to head into weaker economic conditions, governments globally will also face the challenges of tighter budgets and budget cuts to proactively monitor roads for potholes.)

The QORD Solution

1) Technology

By using the accelerometer and Global Positioning System (GPS) systems within modern smartphones, data can be analysed to increase the probability of locating potholes in roads.

If a driver or passenger houses their smartphone on the dashboard, driving over any pothole would automatically jolt the accelerometer within the smartphone. This would result in a severe spike in the user’s accelerometer data.

If these spikes in the accelerometer data can be linked to GPS data and co-ordinated across multiple smartphones, the combination of crowdsourced data would proactively help pinpoint the increased likelihood of potholes.

2) The power of the crowd-sourced data

QORD coordinated with the public authorities to crowdsource the data by establishing a reward structure to reward those that provided their smartphone data.

The public authorities agreed to pre-pay funds to a central pool of funds. Once the user agreed to the terms and conditions of releasing their non-identifiable smartphone data,  then each time the user travelled on nominated roads with their smartphone activated they would be rewarded from the pool of prepaid funds.

By crowdsourcing the data enabled the programmatic data analysis of the pool of data received. The public authorities would then be in a position to allocate resources needed to be deployed to identified areas that had an increased likelihood of identifying potholes.

The incentivisation structures also overcame inhibiting factors to the smartphone owners by

  • guaranteeing their privacy is maintained
  • sufficiently rewarding them for providing the data.

The Outcomes

The crowdsourced data was provided to the road management team, which funded the rewards mechanism for the smartphone owners to provide their data.

At the same time, the smartphone owners provided anonymised data to the road management teams to enable them to focus their resources on areas that the data suggested there were potholes.

The Payback

Whilst the project was a pilot project, its payback was very clear.

  • Collectively, the pool of data reduced the man hours required to monitor potholes enabling resources  to be more effectively deployed.

In addition to the road management teams, insurance companies would also benefit from the data by being able to pre-warn their insured drivers of the possibility of potholes, thereby proactively helping reduce the chances of accidents.

The Key Takeaways

By using and rewarding,  anonymised, crowdsourced IoT data, core business problems can be solved without compromising any privacy issues for the data received owners.

If you want to know more about how QORD can help you reward your data owners for making their data available please speak to our business development team.