Speaker Bio & Abstract

Miguel Dickson Director of Engineering

BiographyMiguel Dickson is Director of Engineering at RoadBotics, where he works on and manages all aspects of technical challenges at Roadbotics. He comes to RoadBotics by way of a previous stint as a software engineer at kWantera, a Pittsburgh-based venture-backed startup that focuses on energy market forecasting and analytics. Prior to that, he worked as a lawyer in a variety of fields. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh, a J.D. from Georgetown Law, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Swarthmore College.AbstractAccording the Transportation Research Group, bad roads cost each US driver over $2,000 annually in unnecessary costs with an annual US cost of well over $100B and the costs of bad globally is estimated to be 5X that amount. A central challenge to maintaining roads that has existed since the Romans built the Appian Way over 2,000 years ago is regular, thorough inspection of the roads. Visual inspection was the inspection mode in ancient Rome and it is the most common method now around the world and not just for roads but for all large infrastructure. Fortunately, recent advances in both AI/deep learning and inexpensive but precise sensors has created the opportunity to transform the way infrastructure is monitored and maintained, with the result of lower insurance costs. My presentation will focus on how this revolution in 'asset transparency' is happening now by, among other things, using the presenters company, RoadBotics, as a prime example of this transformation. The presenter will highlight the opportunities and challenges of deploying this technology not only through the example of his own company but other similar companies assessing other infrastructure. We use deep learning and standard smartphones to assess road surfaces and roadways. We were spun out of Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute in 2016 and we serve over 100 cities in 16 US states and 4 countries, including India.