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How this startup is mapping India’s potholes using just your phone

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India is a country of many languages and cultures, but you’ll find a few things in all states and religions. Potholes on roads are one of them.

No matter where you go in India, you’ll find one or more roads with potholes. While Indians have learned to hone their driving skillsto compensate for rough roads, there are many accidents around the country.

According to government data, in 2018, more than 2,000 people died and more than 4,000 succumbed to injuries from accidents caused by potholes in India. Plus, there might be many unreported incidents that might not have come to the fore.

While Google Maps has improved over the years in charting Indian roads, it still doesn’t have information about dents and cavities in the road. That’s a problem a startup called Intents is trying to solve — and it only needs to use the sensors in your phone

Tabrez Alam, Naresh Kacchi, Prakash Velusamy, and Balasubraniam R started this company earlier this year with an aim to gather data about potholes and alert users to avoid accidents.

The firm created a simple application to capture potholes using your phone’s sensors, such as gyroscope and accelerometer. Its algorithm observes changes in your vehicle’s speed and sudden dips and jumps to determine if a road has potholes in certain places.

You can install the app, and go about your business without even having to register. The company says it doesn’t need your personal data. And to enhance the privacy of the collected data, it’s stored behind a public key infrastructure (PKI).

The app is based on HERE maps technology, but you don’t need to necessarily use it for navigation. You can use Google Maps or any other mapping application, and the Intenets Go app will alert you of potholes through audio.