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Monitoring for better road markings


Serious traffic incidents still happen too often. One of the causes is poor road markings, which are not visible due to weather conditions or at night. Repairing the markings sounds like a quick fix, but road authorities only sometimes know where the weak spots are. Alireza Alemi decided to use his monitoring knowledge to start Inspectigence, an app with which road users can monitor defects in road markings, which are then sent to road authorities. His goal is to achieve zero road deaths in Europe by 2050. He talks about his ambition and how Inspectigence plays a role in that.

The seeds for Inspectigence were planted during Alireza’s PhD at TU Delft, which focused on monitoring train wheels for predictive maintenance. During his post-doc at the UT, someone gave him the idea to apply that knowledge to roads. This marked the beginning of Inspectigence. Alireza explains how it works: “When you drive or walk, you can sometimes see defects on the roads and markings. How do you report them? People don’t know how to do that, and Inspectigence bridges that gap. It’s an app that records the road while you drive. That recording gets analyzed by an AI model, which highlights the markings on the road and can detect where there is a defect. This information is passed on to authorities to make more efficient road maintenance decisions. That way, the government doesn’t have to spend more money, but they can spend it more effectively.”

Safest routes

By providing timely information to authorities, roads can become a lot safer. The impact of that is enormous. “Not only can we provide information to authorities, but also to road users,” says Alireza. “We can show them the riskiest neighborhoods or intersections so navigation can suggest the safest routes. This is very beneficial for vulnerable road users such as elderly people, who are often involved in road accidents.” Safety truly comes first for Inspectigence. “The screen of your phone can be turned off while recording, so it’s not a distraction while driving. Also, the recordings are saved in small segments so you can choose which segments you upload upon arrival. You can always manage your uploaded content, so the users remain the owners of the content.”  

Meaningful feedback

Currently, the app is available on the Google Play store. To get to this point, they accepted all the support they could get. “We started in the UT Challenge, through which we got in touch with relevant people from Rijkswaterstaat. Now, we’re in the ADVANCED Program in which we receive good mentorship,” says Alireza. “For the development of our app, we used the TOP loan. Furthermore, we also joined the mission to Slush in Helsinki and the Digital Demo Day in Düsseldorf. We received a lot of feedback there, which was very meaningful.”

Saving lives

That experience paves the way to build a community that works towards zero road deaths by 2050. “I’d love to see a community grow from our app, with users who are all motivated to contribute to road safety,” shares Alireza. “Our app gathers a lot of data, which we can use to motivate people to use the app. We could work with rankings to show which users contributed the most. But in the long run, we could also show them how roads are improved based on their contribution and how many lives they potentially saved because of that. We’ll start by mapping the highways, then the provincial roads, and then go from there. Eventually, we’ll cover all the roads so all markings are visible for all road users - whether sunny or snowy. We enable all road users to take responsibility for contributing to that mission. After all, if we want to build smart cities, we need smarter citizens."

"If we want smart cities, we need smarter citizens."

Alireza Alemi


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Alireza Alemi founded Inspectigence, an app that allows road users to monitor defects in road markings, which are then sent to road authorities. He aims to contribute to road safety and achieve zero road deaths in Europe by 2050.

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