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Award-winning artificial intelligence scans Durham, Ont. roads to fill potholes

Click to play video: 'Durham uses AI to identify severity of potholes' Durham uses AI to identify severity of potholes
WATCH: "It immediately snaps a picture of them, and it sends it into the cloud. Then we can dispatch our staff." Durham Region uses award-winning AI to scan the roads for potholes. – Mar 17, 2022

Durham Region has been recognized by the Smart50 Awards for using artificial intelligence technology to detect, and address potholes.

Awards are given out to cities globally who are doing innovative work.

“Potholes mainly form from the constant freezing and thawing. It weakens the road,” explains Corey Hill, the road supervisor at the Whitby/Oshawa depot.

The technology, which is attached to the inside of the work vans, is said to help drivers avoid the pits because they are identified more quickly.

Read more: Nearly 10,000 potholes filled in Toronto so far this year, mayor says

“It immediately snaps a picture of them, and it sends it into the cloud. Then we can dispatch our staff,” said Hill.

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“We’re able to categorize them on a level of severity and determine where we need to go right away.”

Rob Engelage, the owner of In-Tune Auto in Oshawa sees the impact potholes have on his customers’ tires every spring and fall.

“The most common thing we’ll see is a bent rim. It’s not too bad if they still have their snow tires on and they have a steel wheel that gets bent… but if we get into tire changeovers, especially some of the factory rims can be over $1,000,” explains Engelage.

Read more: Rod Stewart fills potholes near his home ‘because no one can be bothered to do it’

However, Engelage has this simple word of advice that could keep drivers from coming in for repairs from pothole damage.

“Keep your tires inflated because an inflated tire is gonna help protect the rim,” said Engelage.

With thousands of potholes appearing each month, residents are asked to continue reporting them to the region.

“They can go to Durham.ca/depots, and they can call any one of our maintenance facilities to report a pothole directly,” said Eric Lamain, the manager of maintenance operations with the region.

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Pothole season is early in Toronto – Feb 24, 2022

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