Cameras fitted to refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) will be used to identify potholes in the road in a trial being undertaken by Thurrock Council in Essex.
The cost of the trial is being funded by the Department for Transport in a £1.2bn package from the new National Productivity Investment Fund, announced in the Autumn Statement, and the Pothole Action Fund.
Images from the high-definition cameras in Thurrock will build up an image library of local roads in an effort to help council officers identify problems before they become potholes.
Council leader Rob Gledhill said: “Thurrock was selected because it is recognised by the Government as being ready to test innovative techniques to improve the efficiency of local services, and for which the reliability and quality of its road network is crucial for residents and businesses alike.
“This is the first initiative of its kind, using cutting-edge technology and innovation that leads to better road conditions at less cost.”
Soenecs founder David Greenfield said: “RCVs are the only vehicles to regularly traverse local highway networks weekly, and follow the same route each time.
“This makes them the best vehicle to use to monitor the condition of roads, pavements and street furniture, identifying issues before they become problems. The ultimate local authority efficiency: one vehicle, two roles.”
Director of innovation and research of Gaist, Dr Stephen Remde, said: “Computer vision technology is advancing rapidly, and we seek to capitalise on new data analysis techniques to analyse and manage the huge volumes of video and related data that can be used to improve the safety of roads and provide more cost-effective repairs.”