Mark DeSantis


No more potholes (or bad roads): AI & roadway monitoring

Every asset requires continuous maintenance and essential to that is close, inexpensive, safe and precise monitoring. For an asset like a car or jet engine, the technology of monitoring is well developed as the asset is self-contained. However, monitoring an asset large and complex like a road network is far more expensive and difficult. The alternatives available to do this are either subjective, non-scalable and unsafe (i.e., driving or walking along the roadway and making notes) or very expensive (i.e., trucks or vans kitted out with clusters of expensive sensors). What is needed is an accessible, (very) inexpensive but precise way of viewing and assessing road surfaces and other roadway features. Fortunately, the technology of AI and machine learning, when combined with a simple smartphone and some wheels solves that problem. More importantly, it moves the challenge of roadway assessment out of the realm of subjective opinion in to the world of true data-driven decision making for even the smallest municipality of township. Our presentation will focus on our success is helping munis, cities and states monitor maintain roads through AI in an affordable and accessible way. RoadBotics monitors and manages roadways by identifying and rating an array of roadway features and conditions, including cracks, potholes, signage, vegetation, and debris. Our app turns a smartphone and car, truck or bike into a sophisticated, mobile sensor. With this app, drivers simply attach their phone to a dash mount, giving the phone’s camera a full view of the road ahead.

About the Speaker

CEO RoadBotics, AI platform monitoring roadways. Previously cofounded several tech-based and infrastructure focused companies, including businesses in the power, hedge fund and education space. Mark was earlier Director of Government Relations for Texas Instruments and served in policy positions in DC including in The White House Science Office and US Senate. Mark is an Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon and has lectured at Princeton and Dartmouth. Holds a BA and MBA from the University of Dayton, an MS from The American University and a PhD in Public Policy from the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.