Tech company says pothole predicting technology could save Chicago money

CHICAGO — Chicago drivers are constantly on pothole patrol this time of year, but one local company believes they can save residents and the city money by preventing potholes before they happen.

Xaqt Founder Chris Crosby said the company works with different cities across the country, using data to help solve potholes and other problems. Similar to a weather forecast, maps display hot spots where potholes are most likely to pop up.

"We’re predicting around 537,000 potholes in 2019," said Xaqt data scientist William Arloff.

The company looks at a number of factors such as traffic volume, CTA routes and weather. After this week’s deep freeze, they can forecast when the damage will be the worst.

With all of this information, Xaqt says the city could tackle problem areas before potholes form in the first place.

"It’s the difference between preventative maintenance and reactive filling the pothole," Crosby said. "With preventative maintenance you can actually go out and put a different type of sealant on the pavement that seals the cracks and prevents the pothole from forming which is actually much less expensive than when the pothole forms and when the damage is actually done to the pavement."

Xaqt isn’t working with Chicago yet, but they believe their information could help before the road gets bumpy.

"That could save tires and that could save the city money," Crosby said.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel just announced crews will be working seven days a week to fill potholes in Chicago. Since 2011, the city has repaved more than 2,100 miles of city streets.

Xaqt just believes there is a more exact science to dealing with potholes more efficiently and effectively.

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