Bounties attract serious brainpower to the challenge.
Use existing technologies to scan, monitor and implement road quality information in Google Maps and navigation.
Technology to gather information is already here
Roads sometimes drastically differ in quality and drivers do not know that
It's a safety feature to know what to expect on the road
It would be great if routes are planned according to the road quality, too
Some holes on the road are not fixed for years
It could be fun to know the general road quality of the municipality, country, etc.
How would it work?
This information could primarily be gathered by official Google cars that scan roads for street view. Since they can already determine road surface using lasers in front of the vehicle (to record the actual dimensions of the space being photographed) or scan in 3D in 360 degrees using top-notch lidar sensors, the algorithm processing the data could be optimized to recognize road bumps and holes that could affect driving experience. If this technology is combined with gyroscopes or sensors,
Additionally, this information could be confirmed or continuously monitored by processing information from vehicles connected to Internet (tire pressure sensors, accelerometers, cameras, ...) or mobilephone applications equipped with acceleration vibration detecting sensors . Proposed work has already been done for the same purpose and, "although the estimation might not be as accurate as modern profilers, it still may be very useful for cost saving and as an indicator for continuous monitoring".
Using the info for route planning
If implemented in Google Maps, users could get the best route option with road quality data implemented into it. Yes, users' signals for traffic prediction could give us a hint where the road is better or worse, but if you drive an expensive sports car, you would value detailed information about road quality to be implemented into choosing the best route.
Using the info for road damage informing and fixing
If this feature was made available on Google Maps, users could take a photo of a road or pavement damage and upload it to server to confirm the damage is still there.
Using the information for "special roads" registration
Some roads are accessible only with terrain vehicles (roads to distant beaches, mountain roads). These roads are often marked into Google Maps, but no information if you can pass or no is available. By using smartphones or vehicle sensors, these roads could be monitored for cleareance or condition, too.
Using the information for fun
Additionally, countries or municipalities could "compete" which one has the best road quality. The same could be used to plan your perfect next road trip, vehicle testing or new location for rally racing.
Do you have any other ideas?
Do you know if these technologies are already implemented into some Maps?