A.R.G.O.

Advanced Research in Government Operations

[A]dvanced [R]esearch in [G]overnment [O]perations (“ARGO”) is a startup nonprofit that builds, operates and maintains pioneering data infrastructure to transform how water reliability, street quality or other basic public services are delivered.

Street Quality Identification Device aka SQUID is a low-cost sensor platform that performs autonomous data collection for citywide, digital street surveying. SQUID combines an accelerometer, GPS and a camera to passively collect data about streets . The intent is to deploy SQUID on city-owned fleet vehicles  and build a citywide map of street quality to aid planners and operations managers better allocate street resurfacing resources. With continued use of SQUID, we also envision an approach for a more proactive and granular approach to street maintenance.

 

 

The accelerometer measures overall ride quality while the imagery provides a visual ground truth of the underlying street condition in near-real time. The use of imagery has the added benefit of capturing street defects that exist between the vehicle's wheels. Although we are designing for US cities, suboptimal street quality is a global challenge that this technology can help tackle. As we collect more imagery across more cities that improves the robustness of our methodology for everyone participating to conduct computer vision image analysis to derive street smoothness.