Bosch founded the start-up project StreetProbe together with additional partners and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. StreetProbe is developing a procedure that permanently records the condition of roads – and does so incidentally. Sensors that already exist in vehicles, such as acceleration and wheel speed sensors, register movements caused by unevenness in the road or potholes.
To connect the vehicle sensors to a cloud, the test vehicles are equipped with a so-called connectivity control unit (CCU). It collects, stores, and processes the data in advance and sends it encrypted with GPS-accurate position information to the cloud. In this way, road damage can be detected early and cost-effectively repaired before large potholes are created. “It would be ideal to equip entire vehicle fleets. The data could complement the CDA information and thus more regularly monitor road conditions without the additional use of vehicles and personnel,” explains Rous.
StreetProbe is currently developing reference data and a damage catalog with a pattern recognition system based on test vehicle data. A test fleet then checks the results. This solution is of primary interest to public road construction authorities, who will no longer have to regularly drive the roads to assess their condition. If there are signs of damage at a given point, they can examine these in a targeted manner and, if necessary, repair them with little effort before a harmless pothole turns into a dangerous crater.