A company using crowd-sourced data to evaluate road conditions says Indiana’s roads are the third worst in the nation. State officials say they use a more reliable method of surveying road health.
Lvl5 creates maps for self-driving cars by collecting video footage of millions of miles of roads from people using their phone app.
And the company fed that footage into an algorithm that determines road quality. That algorithm determined Indiana’s roads are the third worst of the 37 states included.
Neighboring Michigan ranks worst, while Ohio and Illinois are ranked slighty better than Indiana.
Lvl5 CEO Andrew Kouri says cities and states can use their maps to determine which roads need the most attention.
Indiana Department of Transportation Spokesperson Scott Manning says they check all state-maintained roads every year with infrared scans, which are more detailed than crowd-sourced data.
"They’re certainly a tool, there’s a lot of development in that realm," Manning says. "But it’s something that we need to have complement good engineering practice rather than replace it."
Manning says technology like this is growing.
He says they’re already working with Purdue University to get real-time information from cars connected to the internet, like when a car’s anti-lock brake system kicks in.
"We’re working with some of that data in an experimental research phase right now," he says. "But we think it has promise to be something that is more useful on a larger scale down the road."
An American Society of Civil Engineers report from last year says 8 percent of Indiana’s roads are in poor condition.