Northeastern University Team Trying to Curb Boston's Pothole Problem

Boston-area drivers are the first ones to say it has been a bad winter for potholes.Boston-area drivers are the first ones to say it has been a bad winter for potholes

A gold van could be a goldmine for Boston-area commuters driving on roads filled with potholes.

"It helps us to identify potholes and bumps and depressions and other types of distresses," David Vines, a Northeastern PhD student, said.

Vines and the van are part of the Versatile Onboard Traffic Embedded Roaming Sensors, or VOTERS vehicle, created by Northeastern University students for a class project.

It's a prototype that could help report potholes on roads impacted by a record-breaking winter.

A camera bolted to the back records images of the street, while a microphone collects the sound of the wheel falling into potholes and cracks, and then it is sent to a computer.

For the past six years, students have spent time driving around parts of Boston, Beverly and Cambridge, testing out the the pothole recorder. Now they are looking to make the vehicle available to purchase.

And while the VOTERS truck may be riding around Northeastern University, students say it may be a couple of months before it actually goes into production. 

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