BOSTON (CBS) – The city thinks it’s found a better way to fill potholes faster.

The Public Works Department unveiled its new “Pro-Patch Pothole Patcher” Wednesday in South Boston.

machine Boston Targets Potholes With Phone App, Patcher

The Pro-Patch Pothole Patcher in South Boston.

It’s a truck-mounted patching machine with an insulated and heated body that keeps asphalt at the proper temperature.

That means crews can make permanent pothole repairs in the winter, instead of waiting for warmer weather to arrive.

“That’s what this is all about, because (normally) we have to wait until the springtime. Well, we don’t want to wait until the springtime. We want to do it now and we’ll be able to do it immediately,” Mayor Tom Menino told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

The city bought the machine back in October for about $150,000.

Authorities are also testing out a new smart phone app called “Boston Street Bump,” which would basically report potholes as soon as you drive over them.

Menino talks to WBZ NewsRadio 1030 producer Jon MacLean

Users would download the app for free and put the device in their pockets as they drive.

Sensors in the software would detect bumps in the road and send the street information to a server, which would deliver the information to the city, notifying it instantly of the problem.

“As you drive around the city, it will be reported immediately, right to the public works department where the potholes may be, that will give us a quicker need to service the potholes we find,” Menino said.

The experimental application could be ready for public use in the fall.

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports.

Comments (3)
  1. jessica says:

    Since the smart phones, and most phones now-a-days have the gps navagation systems in them; with the new app, to send notification to the city quick so they’re able to get quick responses and fix potholes, the phones may be able to send the location, like latitude and longitude, street name, or even near the closest street adress to the city by automatic email so the city can quickly hunt it down, and fix it.
    Thats how it works right?
    But what if the phone is dropped, would it then detect it as a “pothole?”
    Maybe if its locked in place like the gps’s, it would have more accurate readings, and prevent the driver to be distracted and pick up the phone to text or use it while driving.

  2. jeremy says:

    I’m thinking an app that allows users to snap a photo of a pothole and automatically upload that photo with GPS coordinates to a centralized DB.

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