Drivers could get pothole warnings via crowdsourced virtual map


Car maker Ford has begun research into a virtual pothole map, which could provide real-time pothole warnings to drivers.

Engineers at the company’s research and innovation centre, in Aachen, Germany are researching fitting cameras and embedded modems to cars to gather detailed information on potholes and beam it to the cloud – where it can be made available to other drivers in real time.

A Ford car on a very, very bad road

Uwe Hoffmann, research engineer, advanced chassis control technologies, Ford of Europe said: ‘A virtual pothole map could highlight a new pothole the minute it appears and almost immediately warn other drivers that there is a hazard ahead.

'Our cars already feature sensors that detect potholes and now we are looking at taking this to the next level.'

Many cars, including Ford's Galaxy, Mondeo and S-MAX, already use on-board sensors for systems such as Continuously Controlled Damping with Pothole Mitigation that detect potholes using sensors and adjust suspension to help reduce any potential damage.

Ford said further research is also exploring the use of an active suspension system designed to massively reduce the severity of bumps and rough road surfaces.

The company already tests new cars on a testing road at Lommel Proving Ground, in Belgium, using replicas of some of the world’s worst potholes.


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