Driverless Cars vs. Potholes

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When autonomous vehicles come upon a pothole they don’t react like a human. Emerging technologies could solve this problem, but there are ethical issues to iron out. Chess-playing computers have been able to beat humans at the game since at least 2005. But car-driving automation (some call them driverless or autonomous vehicles) is something else. Programmers haven’t fully figured out how to make the rule-bending decisions that humans make on a daily basis to avoid potholes. Consider how drivers sometimes break the law to avoid accidents. In a split second…read more

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Potholes and Road Hazard Insurance: What’s Covered?

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Tire warranties and comprehensive/collision insurance might cover your pothole-related car damage costs. But each has limits – read the fine print, and alert your DOT when you see a serious pothole. The statistics on damage to cars from potholes across the US are staggering: a 2016 study from the AAA auto club found that American motorists shell out $3 billion each year to repair tires and vehicles that hit rough pavement. That works out to an average cost of $300 per repair. But what’s worse, AAA says that car drivers…read more

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Permanent Pothole Repair – In Cold and Water?

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Hot asphalt is more finicky than most people realize: It can’t fix pavement in cold and wet conditions. That’s why newer asphalt formulations were devised. It’s remarkable that asphalt has and continues to be so important in modern society. For all our technologies in a digital age, having flat pavement for cars, trucks, buses and bicycles is as important as ever. When potholes and lengthy road building activity slow traffic, it reduces the speed of commerce and takes time away from peoples’ lives. So how can America maintain its $2 trillion-plus investment…read more

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Innovation and Political Leadership Can Fix Potholes

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In her book, “Move: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead,” author Rosabeth Kanter sees technology, privatization and political will as the answer to our crumbling infrastructure. Rosabeth Moss Kanter is not an expert on asphalt and potholes per sé. The Harvard Business School professor is a specialist in strategy, innovation and leadership for change. And she has some pretty big, strategic and innovative ideas and perspectives on the sweeping changes underway in transportation. Ultimately, potholes are a big concern to her – along with falling bridges, traffic congestion, and…read more

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Sensors, GPS and Crowdsourcing vs. Potholes

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Newer technologies are reinventing how we fix crumbling infrastructure – in particular, potholes. Cars, bikes, garbage trucks, and drones are part of it. In an era when smartphones, “smart cities,” the Internet of Things (IoT), and “the cloud” litter our conversations, it may seem as if the discussion is moving far away from the basics of unbroken asphalt and smooth pavement. But in fact these are things that might mean fewer street potholes, more-efficient transportation – and lower infrastructure maintenance costs. This is because newer technologies can support municipal use of the digital revolution to…read more

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