According to the BBC, the English town of Blackpool is using artificial intelligence (AI) in an innovative way: to help fix potholes.
In most cases, road departments must either wait for reports of potholes, or proactively inspect roads. In either case, it may be days before road crews become aware of a pothole, increasing the likelihood it will get worse.
Blackpool, on the other hand, is using AI and satellite images to inspect roads in mere seconds. As a result, potholes are getting fixed much faster, before they have the opportunity to get worse. The end result is significant savings.
The Blackpool Council “said 5,145 potholes had been fixed in North Shore at a cost of just under £450,000, which would have cost £1.5m using traditional methods,” according to the BBC. The Council plans to use the savings to improve even more roads.
While fixing potholes may not be the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks of AI, Blackpool’s example highlights the many unique ways the technology can help revolutionize a broad range of industries.