Street Bump reports potholes with your accelerometer

Street Bump reports potholes with your accelerometer
Every year, thousands of potholes are discovered and repaired in major cities around the world. Particularly after the winter ice thaws, cities are left booby-trapped with dangerous potholes. In an effort to more efficiently locate these potholes, the city of Boston, MA is looking to a smartphone-based solution, called Street Bump.

Street Bump will be an app that uses both your device's accelerometer and GPS. It works by detecting the sudden, jarring motion of your car running over a pothole. It then uses your GPS signal to send a message to the city with the exact location of the disturbance.

According to Boston's Department of Public Works, 1 in 6 potholes are discovered by way of a citizen's report. Those reports currently come by way of email, or Citizens Connect, a program that allows citizens to post pictures, locations, and descriptions of current problems.

Of course, those citizen reports typically come after the pothole has become a major hazard. With Street Bump, the potholes could be detected and repaired before they became large enough to destroy a car's axle or suspension.

Does anyone else find it delightfully ironic that our smartphones might actually make driving safer?

source: The Boston Globe via Engadget

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