How Drones are Helping to Fix Potholes

We need to fix potholes because it may cause massive problem in any city that experiences a significant amount of snow.

The amount of money spent on fixing roads and damaged vehicles is extremely high and the process of fixing potholes has been a big challenge, because it has depended on heavy machinery and long working hours. That is why using drones with mounted 3D printers is so attractive to this industry.

Potholes are a holes or depression in a road surface, which is usually asphalt pavement, where traffic has broken and forced pieces of the pavement from the area affected.

Water first weakens the underlying soil, and traffic then applies the loads or weight that stresses the pavement past the breaking point of the poorly supported asphalt surface in the affected area. Continued traffic action removes both asphalt and the underlying soil material to create a hole in the pavement. In addition, the ground surrounding the roads vibrates differently, thus disrupting the roads.

The areas that are vulnerable to potholes are areas subject to freezing and thawing.

The process of the creation of potholes involves the following:

  • Precipitation adds moisture to the supporting soil structure
  • Frost damaging the pavement
  • Thawing that weakens the soil
  • Traffic that breaks the pavement, which forms cracks
  • Chunks of pavement between the cracks gradually work loose
  • Chunks are plucked or forced out of the surface by continued
    wheel loads, creating a pothole
  • Prevention

The following steps can be taken to avoid pothole formation in existing pavements:

  • Surveying of pavements for risk factors
  • Providing adequate drainage structures
  • Preventive maintenance

Pavement condition monitoring can lead to timely preventive action. Surveys address pavement distresses, which both diminishes the strength of the asphalt layer and admits water into the pavement, and effective drainage of water from within, and around, the pavement structure.

Preventive Maintenance

In order to maintain the structural integrity of the pavement, it is necessary to regularly, and systematically, inspect and monitor the condition of the roads. The thickness and smoothness of the pavement, and its protection from water penetration, is maintained by having the water steered away from the roadway.


Patching potholes is either temporary or semi-permanent. Temporary patching is reserved for weather conditions that are not favorable to a more permanent solution by using a compound of a cold asphalt patching mix that is placed into the pothole and temporarily restores relative smoothness to the road pavement. Semi-permanent patching, on the other hand, requires more extensive care by reconstructing the perimeter of the pothole to blend in with the surrounding pavement by applying a hot asphalt mix, which is then filled into the hole and applied so it will fit in with the rest of the pavement.


Companies, like AT&T, use drones for maintenance inspections, and assist in natural disaster zones. There are also an increasing number of local government agencies, which have begun to actively deploy drones as part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) unmanned aerial systems’ integration pilot program.

Drones are increasingly covering up potholes at a fast pace. Like so many other industries, drones will be replacing more humans because they are proving to provide service that is safe, efficient, fast, and inexpensive.

This means that those who are drone pilots, have a great opportunity to use their “tool” and invest in this industry.

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