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Pothole-based GPS calibration

They could be good for something.
  (+14, -1)(+14, -1)
(+14, -1)
  [vote for,

GPS is nice and precise until you get down to scales under 50' or so. Using magnet-based shocks (see link), however, you could in theory correlate two or more GPS systems to within a fraction of an inch using unique pieces of road texture in the area. For instance, your tire will experience a pothole at the exact location as the car in front of you. Using your speedometer, the 2-D nature of roads, and cross-referencing to the actual GPS your car will know exactly where you are with respect to another car's reference frame.

Why would you want to do this? What does it matter *exactly* where you are? Because then one car can record exact surface texture information, which can be used by other cars to compensate accordingly. This will allow your tires to glide over potholes and hop over speed bumps.

Worldgineer, Dec 07 2005

Magnet-based shock absorbers http://business.bos...bg?articleid=114289
[Worldgineer, Dec 07 2005]

Here's how I learned I missed it. Operator_20Papier-M...odelling_20Shredder
[normzone, Dec 29 2005]

don't miss this one :) slurp_20sticks
[po, Dec 29 2005]

App Detects Potholes As Your Drive Over Them http://apple.slashd...our-Drive-Over-Them
The City of Boston has released an app that uses the accelerometer in your smartphone to automatically report bumps in the road as you drive over them [xaviergisz, Feb 10 2011]

FixMyStreet- Pothole Log http://www.fixmystreet.com/report/160674
[Dub, Feb 11 2011]

There's an app for that http://whatsnext.bl...lls-city-officials/
[theircompetitor, Feb 21 2012]


       Wow ! This is a good idea I missed !
normzone, Dec 29 2005

       Heh. Thanks [norm].
Worldgineer, Dec 29 2005

       what idiot churned this nonsense?
po, Dec 29 2005

       Nice HB. But the government would only come along and move them around every now and then.
Dub, Dec 30 2005

       I was driving down a mountain road in a part of the country that I used to live in, but had not visited for years.   

       Suddenly, I swerved for no apparent reason, on a perfectly good piece of highway.   

       I had to think about it for a while - but there had been a NASTY pothole there about ten years ago, now gone, and I guess my muscle memory took over and made certain I didn't hit it.
normzone, Dec 30 2005

       //Nice HB. // Don't mind [po], she's just has churn envy.
Worldgineer, Dec 30 2005

       couldn't we use this to automatically report pot holes too ?
neilp, Dec 30 2005

       Certainly. I'm sure an accurate pot hole map could help cities optimize their road repair.
Worldgineer, Dec 30 2005

       [normzone] see?
Dub, Dec 30 2005

       //But the government would only come along and move them around every now and then.// Selective availabilty returns?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Dec 30 2005

       [Dub] saw.
normzone, Jan 03 2006

       Calibrating off of something so transient as a pothole is pure folly. The "signature" of the pothole would change each time a big truck ran over it, or it rained, or freezed. And, the signature of the pothole in one car would vary from other cars, or even the same car with different loads. So, it wouldn't be feasible to do pattern matching. It would be far more feasible to calibrate off of cell towers or even fire hydrants (which all should have RFID soon to help fire trucks find them).   

       I know it's just the HB, but with Worldgineer's hype on this one, I was expecting better, sorry!
sophocles, Jan 05 2006

       //Calibrating off of something so transient as a pothole// You mean potholes move?   

       [+], I love it.
Freefall, Jan 05 2006

       I think you're wrong on this, [soph]. Despite minor variations in your recorded data, the start and end of a pothole should be quite easy to detect. Only on the most degraded roads will you need more than this and your general position from GPS, and hopefully you've already coordinated your location before you get to this degraded road.   

       Potholes expanding won't be a big deal either. So, one person's tire drops too soon and they hit the end of the pothole. The data's updated and the next person avoids it.   

       I don't think cell towers will get you near the required resolution, and fire hydrant RFIDs would get you little more than a 1-dimensional data point.
Worldgineer, Jan 05 2006

       hmm.... Right. I think I misread this. I was thinking the end goal was better GPS, which I still think would be folly.   

       But, strictly using this to compensate for a pothole that the car in front of you just hit should work. So, fishbone removed.   

       You'll get a hard-earned bun if you can explain how, if the first car bounces, and the 2nd car following compensates (doesn't bounce), then how would the 3rd, 4th, etc. be able to compensate. This would rely on a steady supply of "bouncers" to give data to the non-bouncers, eh? And, those bouncers must still have purchased said device to send you the data to not bounce, so forget harvesting the luddite's car. Someone's paying for the device but still bouncing around.
sophocles, Jan 05 2006

       There will always be bouncers. If nothing else than the first person on a road will bounce. We'd probably also make a car every month or so not compensate as much, just to make sure the pothole is still there. And it's possible there's one person that always hits potholes. And it's quite likely it will be me. But that's life. It still beats the current system.
Worldgineer, Jan 05 2006

       hmm, or maybe the 2nd car just needs to send out a signal that says "I would've bounced, but didn't because I reacted with this pattern..... pass it along, please"   

       OK, [+] for you by now.
sophocles, Jan 05 2006

       {Linky}, and I just realised I know a 'Baker who knows their (approximate) geographical location by the state of the roads.
Dub, Feb 11 2011

       We have been mulling over an idea for a system that reports GPS pothole position by SMS based on accelerometer feedback. This idea sort-of ties in. Except now, based on the links, it's Baked.   

       We initially considered a system which logged EMS callouts to damaged cyclists. But then, who cares about cyclists ?
8th of 7, Feb 14 2011


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