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An autonomous robot used for highway repairs has passed its first road test, filling cracks in Hertfordshire’s roads.

The county council has announced that the live trial of the prototype vehicle was completed in Potters Bar, outside of the usual lab environment. The robot successfully sealed road cracks ‘to prevent potholes forming.’

The Autonomous Road Repair System (ARRES), also known as the ARRES PREVENT robot is now due to undergo further tests to refine it ahead of full production. The team at tech company Robotiz3d and academics at the University of Liverpool are also working on a larger version capable of fixing a wider range of road defects.

The system started development in 2020, in partnership with Hertfordshire CC Highways engineers, and is the first pothole repair robot in the world. Anthony Browne, technology and decarbonisation minister, said of its success: “This innovative technology has the potential to transform how we perform road maintenance and enhance the driver experience across Hertfordshire and beyond.

“We’re committed to supporting businesses with bright ideas to improve our transport system, and have provided over £30,000 through our Transport Research and Innovation Grants to help Robotiz3d realise their vision for pothole-free roads.”

Meanwhile, Cllr Reena Ranger, the council’s deputy executive member for highways, said: “After another wet winter, we know we’re likely to see an increase in potholes forming as the road surface recovers from water getting into cracks. That’s why we’ve worked hard to fix over 40,000 potholes this year through the trial of new techniques and using this cutting-edge technology we could potentially prevent the potholes from forming in the first place.

“We’re committed to maintaining our road network so that it remains one of the best in the country – we’re excited for the time we can welcome PREVENT officially to our team.”

For more road safety news, check out the Anglo Liners blog. Alternatively, get in touch for a free, no-obligation road marking quote.