COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Researchers at Texas A&M Transportation Institute, or TTI, is creating a new way for highway agencies to help better maintain our roads.

Using technology already available, TTI has developed a way to help monitor road markings that's nearly indiscernible to the driver.

"There's no extra buttons, or extra keys or anything that the driver does. It happens without their interaction,” said Paul Carlson, a senior research engineer at TTI.

Using an off the shelf camera and sensors mounted on the vehicle, it monitors road payment markings. It objectively determines if a road needs more maintenance and sends that data to a server in near real time.

It already caught TxDOT’s attention and four vehicles are already driving and monitoring the Bryan District.

Similar to a Google Search, TxDOT then can use the data from these four vehicles and quickly determine which area needs more maintenance

Right now, it only monitors road pavement markings, but Paul is optimistic that they will soon develop a version to help monitor road signs and road barriers.

"I think the most challenging thing is keeping up with the demand when people start to hear about it, “ Carlson said.

The project is expected to expand beyond Bryan/College Station to cities like San Antonio, Austin, and Waco.

They plan to have 26 other vehicles added to the fleet later this year.