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Digital Roads of the Future


The Digital Roads of the Future were featured in the BBC's response to the AA report released to coincide with the UK's National Pothole Day on Monday, 15th January 2024. The Initiative's research was featured on BBC Breakfast show, the one o'clock and six o'clock news, as well as a feature on the BBC website.

Harriet Bradshaw, of the BBC, visited Cambridge to view demonstrations of how the Digital Roads of the Future initiative is finding a way to automatically detect early damage to the nation's roads using Digital Twins and data science to determine early intervention and repair strategies using smart materials and robotics. 

When small cracks form in the surface of the road water can penetrate into the road, which, when combined with extreme cold weather, turns to ice which expands in the crack, causing further damage. This action, repeated over and over, can lead to the formation of damaging potholes. Potholes form a significant threat to the safety of cyclists and drivers as well as a costly expense for local and national road authorities, as fixing a pothole can take a large amounts of material, work hours and road closures. 

Digital Roads proposes a way of detecting cracks, monitoring their condition and assessing the most effective way to repair damage in a timely and safe manner, using materials that are both good for our environment, sustainable and can be applied to the road efficiently.

Thanks go out to the Digital Roads Research Team for the demonstrations, interviews and support getting everything ready for the BBC.

A recording of the BBC Breakfast segment can be found below.