World’s first pothole robot hits highways in Hertfordshire

A pothole robot is being tested on the roads of Hertfordshire in what is claimed to be a world first.

The autonomous robot has been developed by tech company Robotiz3d and academics at the University of Liverpool who have been working in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council Highways Engineers.

The team has now developed the first Autonomous Road Repair System (ARRES) which identifies and characterises cracks and potholes in the road using Artificial Intelligence.

It then automatically fills the cracks to keep out surface water which in turn helps to prevent potholes forming.

We’re excited to announce the world’s first pothole preventing robot is to be road tested in Hertfordshire. An autonomous robot, developed by tech company @robotiz3d and academics at @LivUni in partnership with our Highways Engineers. Find out more: https://t.co/xkbppzUshS pic.twitter.com/HtJjQCBSM6

— Hertfordshire County Council (@hertscc) January 10, 2024

The new vehicle is currently still in its pilot phase and has been tested in a lab environment extensively, but it is due to hit the roads of Hertfordshire early this year for a ‘real-life’ road repair on a residential street in the county.

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. We’ve long been leading the way in cracking the pothole issue and in recent times have been trialling new and improved ways to fill potholes.

“As we continue to face another cold winter, we know we’re likely to see an increase in potholes forming as the road surface gets too cold and water and ice get into cracks that have formed over time. 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.”

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