Skip to content

Automatic detection and alerts of damaged road surfaces


1 calçadesResponsive, efficient road-surface management is essential for ensuring a citizen- and commerce-friendly city.




The correct maintenance of the over 20Mm2 of road and pavement surfaces in Barcelona is vital for the economy and liveability of the city. It is essential for the maintenance process to be as efficient and timely as possible to detect where intervention is necessary and to ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the city.

The aim of this challenge is to find a solution that can gather data and analyse the 11Mm2 of asphalt paving surfaces – road, cycle and pedestrian – across the whole city. The priority is the road surfaces, but the solution would ideally cover all areas.

Currently the system involves people-intensive data collection by the maintenance contractor coupled with a little-used online portal for residents to report road problems but Barcelona is looking for more efficient, more accurate systems where a solution is delivered more speedily.

The quality of road surface maintenance in Barcelona is very high. It currently costs the city around 18€/m2 for road and pavement maintenance. The winning solution will innovate by its precision and the level of detail that it can detect. Solutions will need to identify road damage smaller than 20x20x3cm as the technology currently in place can detect cracks of 20x2cm. Proposals that include the ability to analyse below the road surface to identify developing problems are also very welcome.

Solutions will be judged on their speed in capturing and validating data; the timeframe needed to map the entire city; and, the inclusion or not of an efficient alert system. Priority will be given to sophisticated solutions that can also identify deterioration and understand current conditions based on a comparison of current and historic data. Implementation of the winning solution should take place within 3 to 6 months of the winner being announced.

Proposals are welcome that include an innovative business model potentially maximising the data collected. In the future, there might also be possibilities to expand the services offered to include maintenance.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Ana #

    You can do this by crowdsourcing. Smartphones have accelerator sensors plus GPS locator. This can give you data from people driving on the roads. Good data analysis can than extract where there are potholes. Take a look at

    November 6, 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: