Smartphones Monitor Roads and Bridges.

 
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In the U.S., aging infrastructure is deteriorating on a massive scale. A report by the American Society of Civil Engineers gives these systems a D+ rating nationwide on an A to F scale. Now, scientists at the University of Missouri, Columbia, have developed smartphone-based technologies that can monitor civil infrastructure systems--such as crumbling roads and aging bridges--potentially saving thousands of lives.

The challenges of the aging civil infrastructure systems suggest the need for developing innovative monitoring solutions. By using various sensors on smartphones, such as a gyroscope, an accelerometer to measure speed, and a camera, or tiny external sensors, such as an infrared sensor, scientists can determine the specific makeup and deterioration of a road's surface in real-time.

However, scientists will not be the only ones collecting the data. Once the sensor is plugged into a smartphone, any person will be able to transmit the information wirelessly to a...

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