Google has successfully patented a system of automatic data collection a road condition. Copyright certificate on “Systems and methods for monitoring the quality of roads” has been recently issued by the US Patent Office. At the moment, the technology is not used by the company “in the field”, but in the near future we can expect Google-cars with the system under a project like Street View.
The very method of collecting such data for many years was on surface. Technical implementation is a simple combination of cheap and time-tested devices. In any place of the car is fixed vertical oscillation sensor tuned to a certain jolt. When the car enters the pit, or runs into potholes, on-board computer receives a signal from the sensor and stores the coordinates in the electronic map of the place with the help of GPS- navigator.