Plymouth cyclists are being sought to help trial new software which could change the way highways issues in the area are dealt with. Using a smartphone, volunteers will be able to report issues by taking pictures. Other users will then vote to establish which problems should be prioritised.
Two hundred volunteers are needed to test the software, known as Changify, with the Plymouth Herald reporting that so far 30 people have signed up for the trial.
Changify was devised by Priya Prakash who came up with the idea after cycling into a pothole on a London road she had regularly been riding for 12 years.
She has appealed for cyclists, walkers, and runners to help her test the project.
"If you cycle or walk in Plymouth join us for this ground-breaking prototype pilot – a UK first. There are only 200 places available.
"Never before have citizens, cities, universities and businesses collaborated together to actively make cities better. All you need is the phone in your pocket to capture what you'd like to celebrate or improve in Plymouth's streets and roads."
Paul Anderson, account director at local highway services provider, Amey, said: "We are hoping Changify will enable us to further tap into the views of Plymouth residents. Feedback from clients and stakeholders is normally gathered through consultations and meetings but through this innovative prototype we will be able to collate real-time direct feedback that will in turn enable us to drive a better service for Plymouth's residents."
The Herald has for some years now made use of Pothole Pete, a foot-high hard hat-wearing Playmobil figure who fronts the newspaper’s roads campaigns. Pete visits locations with particularly bad problems and can regularly be seen in photos accompanying pothole stories. His motto is: “From little potholes, big potholes grow.”
Last year, we reported that the University of Leeds was working on developing pothole filling drones. Part of a £4.2m project geared towards creating self-repairing cities, the aim is for robots to undertake precision repairs avoiding the need for large construction vehicles within a city.