Despite the rapid expansion of road networks in India, the quality checks continue to rely on legacy methods such as visual assessments and physical inspections. 

In an effort to modernise road inspections, HanuAI’s ‘Road Athena’ ropes in artificial intelligence technology to lend a helping hand. 

India’s road network — the second largest in the world — has long been riddled with potholes, ravellings, cracks and other defects. 

Even today, 97 per cent of roads in India are dependent on manual surveys for maintenance. 

The remaining 3 per cent, comprising express and national highways, are examined by a Network Survey Vehicle (NSV), which is expensive, limited (only 50 available countrywide), and rolled out once in six months, explains Prerna Kalra, Co-founder of HanuAI. 

In order to address this problem, Kalra, Rahul Kalra and Manav Singal co-founded HanuAI in November 2022. The bootstrapped start-up has so far invested ₹1.5 crore to develop its AI-based solution ‘Road Athena’. 

Through a fixed device on a vehicle, it records and scans roads, and processes the data using AI models to identify various anomalies. 

Additionally, the anomalies are classified and the survey data is presented on a dashboard.

“Our offering spots pavement anomalies and furniture anomalies such as pothole, patch, crack ravelling, kerb, vegetation, hidden signage, broken crash barrier, and so on. It also spots assets such as poles and trees, which helps in road widening projects. The service can be used for all kinds of roads, across cities, villages and highways, through different models. 

“Our system also runs the data collected by NSVs and manual inspections, and processes it to provide dashboard insights,” Kalra says.

Revenue model

The company’s customer base includes the public works department (PWD), municipal corporations, contractors in charge of road maintenance, and private players responsible for continuously monitoring highways. 

Its revenue model is flexible and varies on the basis of duration of service, insights signed up for, and other added services. Kalra says the company started making revenues in 2023, and is currently on the lookout for more customers. 

HanuAI has so far worked on different stages of projects, from pilots to full-time execution, in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. 

Going forward the company targets an international venture in the Latin American and African markets.