City pilots new AI program to look for potholes

Markham’s Operations team is piloting new artificial intelligence (AI) to look for potholes.

“The City of Markham continues to lead the way in digital innovation and in how we maintain our road and sidewalk network using AI,” Mayor Frank Scarpitti says.

The city has previously used AI software to detect potholes. The new pilot project uses additional AI software streams from Visual Defence’s CityROVER’s Pulse for Pavement technology to assess and report the pavement condition of local roads.

The more advanced AI software is installed on mobile devices mounted on Operations vehicle dashboards. Through the assistance of AI and the mobile device’s built-in camera, the software automatically collects data about road conditions, such as cracks and potholes in the pavement. It then provides a report for the Operations staff.

Currently, pavement condition assessment uses laser technology, which requires staff to visually assess and manually log conditions. The new AI allows staff to make faster, more efficient and data-driven decisions to plan for road maintenance and repair.

Operations staff repaired about 2,300 potholes last year. Residents can report potholes and damaged amenities and/or request street tree service at or contact the Contact Centre at 905-477-5530 or [email protected].

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