Surface Events

Benefit from reliable information about road network surface events to detect damages and abnormal conditions and react in a more targeted manner.

When vehicles act as pothole detectors

The earlier you detect emerging problems on roadway infrastructure, the faster you can take the right measures to fix them – for greater safety and more efficient maintenance.

Mercedes-Benz Data supports road network maintenance by identifying problems and damages to the road surface using data from the Mercedes-Benz vehicle fleet. This early detection of potholes and other surface events via vehicle sensors gives road authorities, cities and municipalities the opportunity to increase maintenance work efficiency and improve road safety.

Currently many cities and road authorities evaluate roads every 4 to 5 years using a high-resolution measurement vehicle provided by engineering firms, for example. Between these measurements, targeted on-site visits occur, but do not cover the entire road network completely.

Our "Surface Events" solution provides a more precise, data-based approach to bridge the long gap between high-resolution vehicle measurements. It is thus a valuable data-based complement to the measurements of the specialized vehicles.

Our data product can determine not only where events are present, but also their intensity and evolution over time. This information is valuable for authorities to plan ahead and prioritize the deployment of maintenance resources.


For detailed technical information, specifications, sandbox environments and access options please visit our Mercedes-Benz /developers portal.


Profit from convincing advantages

Optimize your road quality-related use cases by incorporating near real-time information on potholes and other road damage or surface events generated by the Mercedes-Benz vehicle fleet.

Transparency on the status quo of the road surface
Optimized road maintenance in terms of resource allocation and planning
Ad-hoc fixes of critical danger spots
Digital twin of the development of a road profile
Data points

What data access does the API offer?

Whether cities and municipalities, road authorities or road maintenance departments: The Surface Events API dataset is the perfect complement to data from dedicated measurement vehicles to compensate for the "data-less" time between measurements. The following data points are available:

  • Surface damage events

  • Surface damage intensity

  • GPS position

  • Heading (in compass direction)

  • Time stamp

  • Confidence level (0% to 100%)

The product

Learn more about the API

1.   The API at a glance

The Surface Events dataset provides our customers with accurate insights into the localization, intensity and development of surface events on a local level. This means that data from special measurement vehicles can be optimally supplemented by the Mercedes-Benz vehicle fleet in order to have an accurate picture of road quality even between regular measurements.

2. Wide coverage

The transmitted data is relevant for evaluations & analyses of the most local road conditions in terms of potholes and surface damage. In this context, the connected Mercedes-Benz vehicle fleet provides an excellent basis for covering many regions worldwide.

3. Anonymized data

Data is always transferred anonymized and only from vehicles for which there is a consent from the vehicle owner.

Data Visualisation in the Dashboard
Use our data interface to react faster to road damage, optimally prioritize budgets, and improve road user safety.
How it works

More safety and a head start in knowledge using a three-step approach

Information on the condition of the road surface is collected anonymously via various sensors in the Mercedes-Benz vehicle fleet. Surface Events collects this multitude of road surface information and makes the data available via a pull API at GPS level.

We determine reliable information on surface damage such as potholes, scratches and manhole covers using a three-step approach.

1. Data collection

For the specific use case of surface damage in a particular region or area of interest, we trigger data collection from our Mercedes-Benz customer vehicle fleet through a campaign. We collect only the specific data needed and only if the drivers have given their consent to provide the data. The data is then continuously sent from our customer fleet to the Mercedes-Benz Cloud for the defined period. Various data points from high-quality sensors are collected such as vehicle type, damper level and GPS position.

2. Detection of high intensity damage

In the Mercedes-Benz backend, the algorithm calculates the average intensity of road surface events. Based on multiple passes with additional vehicles, higher accuracy of the calculated surface event is achieved. Detection can be performed simultaneously over the entire range of data collected. We generate highly accurate data based on GPS position, vehicle direction (compass direction), and damper level. However, we "obfuscate" the time stamp to a certain extent to make it impossible to track a single person for privacy reasons.

3. Clustering of single events

We then provide on the Mercedes-Benz Data Dashboard and via API the aggregated and accurate GPS position and heading of the event cluster, the number of individual events per cluster, the time span of the clustered events, and the intensity of the detected surface event.


Mercedes-Benz strengthens road safety in the Netherlands

Mercedes-Benz was commissioned by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Min I&W) to analyze the condition of the local roads and transport infrastructure through data from the Mercedes-Benz vehicle fleet. The so-called 'Road Monitor' program (ROMO) covers all provinces of the Netherlands with a road network of more than 130,000 kilometers.

In road condition analysis, Mercedes-Benz enables predictive maintenance and repair of the road infrastructure, setting new standards. The early detection of potholes and other surface damage increases the efficiency of maintenance work and optimizes safety.

„Digitalisation and automation can bring us tremendous benefits. On the one hand for our ambitious goals on road safety, on the other hand for our challenge on maintaining the Dutch state of the art infrastructure.“

Mark Harbers,
Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management, Netherlands


Frequently asked questions

Here you can find a collection of questions we’ve been asked by our customers.

Is it possible to get a trial version / sample of the data?

Yes, it is possible to get sample data for every data product. Please get in touch with our business team to get the sample data.

Which data sources contains the data of this product?

All data is coming from the Mercedes-Benz customer fleet (Passenger Car and Van). Data will be provided if the purpose of the data usage fits with the Mercedes-Benz Data Vision to create with data a greater good.

Can you provide data for whole countries?

Yes, we can provide the data products for several countries. Please check out the product detail page on Mercedes-Benz /developers to get an overview about the data coverage per country for this product.

How large is your fleet / vehicle coverage in a specific country/city?

Due to antitrust law and data protection, we cannot share exact figures of vehicles driving around. We could offer you to check the numbers of data points in a defined period.

Do you have restrictions in the selection of your customers?

Our goal as Mercedes-Benz Data is to pave the way for a data-driven automotive world. Always with the focus on providing our customers the greatest added value through new, personalized services. That’s why we work together with selected partners always under protection of the customer rights.


Talk to us for an individual consultation

If you’re considering using our data product or just want more information, please leave your contact details. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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