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POTHOLE PREVENTION: World’s first anti-pothole robot to take to Hertfordshire’s roads

 Published on: 20th January 2024   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

Residents across the county will be pleased to hear that the world’s first robotic expert in pothole prevention is soon to test its skills upon the streets of Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire’s Highway Engineers have teamed up with tech company Roboti3ed and academics at the University of Liverpool to build an automated vehicle capable of identifying and filling cracks in the road before they turn into potholes.

We chatted with Hertfordshire Highways engineer Chris Allen-Smith to find out more.

“Cracks fill with water, which expands when it freezes and breaks apart the tarmac. Filling cracks is one of the most effective way of stopping potholes forming,” said Chris.

Hertfordshire Highways were approached by Roboti3ed in 2020 for advice on how to apply cutting-edge technology to real-life problems. Together, the team decided to focus on manufacturing a robot that could fill in cracks in the road whilst the road is cordoned off and supervised.

According to a press release shared by Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) on January 10, the vehicle is still in its pilot phase and has been tested in a lab environment. HCC have promised that the robot will hit a lucky residential road in Herts early this year, although the exact location of the testing site is yet to be revealed.

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.

“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.”

Chris promised that HCC would publicise the whereabouts of the Herts test site as soon as it is announced, with residents hopefully to be invited as spectators.

Photo Credit: Hertfordshire County Council

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