Miss that pothole: Dayton startup develops detector app

A Dayton company is creating an app that could save vehicles from pothole damage and save motorists from hundreds of dollars in repair costs.

"The average driver spends about $800 bucks a year just in vehicle maintenance due to poor road conditions- whether it's flat tires due to potholes or just normal bumpy roads," said Road-Aid founder and CEO James Bridgers.

Here’s how it works: vehicle-mounted cameras take video of the roadway surface, then a computer program analyzes the video for potholes, cracks, and poorly painted lines.

Motorists download the app and hit the road.

“As they are driving along they will be notified and then actually have the image of where that pothole is so they can drive defensively and avoid it safety,” said Bridgers.

The data is also instrumental in getting potholes repaired, said Bridgers.

“We’ve been able to get potholes submitted and repaired within five days,” said Bridgers.

Road-Aid also uses motorist complaints from the Dayton Delivers app and the neighborhood social network app Nextdoor.

Bridgers said he hopes to use the data to help cities repair potholes efficiently, to help them securie federal infrastructure funding, and to keep motorists safe on the road.

Motorists are eager to try the app.

“I went through a couple sets of tires hitting potholes and busting the belts on my tires,” said Dave Deaton of Xenia, “that (app) would be a good thing to use.”

The Road-Aid app will be available in beta form at the end of January for the Pheasant Hill and Winwood neighborhoods and is expected to expand in the coming months.