Anyone who’s ever had a tyre blowout after hitting a pothole has had a taste of just how much of a problem they can be. And they’re not about to disappear any time soon either. If a problem’s been allowed to get to the stage where it will take billions of Rands, or Pounds, or dollars to fix it’s not going to go away in a hurry. Which is why new pothole-detecting technology, currently being worked on by Jaguar Land Rover is so important.
According to a press release issued by the British motoring company, technology that will allow a vehicle to identify the location and severity of potholes, broken drains and manhole covers, and then share this data in real-time via the cloud with other vehicles and with road authorities to help them prioritise repairs.
If a car can receive a warning from another vehicle about severe potholes or broken manholes ahead, then drivers would be able to slow down and avoid the danger – or the car could adjust suspension settings to reduce the impact and smooth the ride.
As the company notes, this could help reduce the potential for punctures, wheel and vehicle damage as well as road accidents.
It’s not stopping there either. The next stage of the project will apparently see the company install new road surface sensing technology in the Range Rover Evoque research vehicle, including a forward-facing stereo digital camera.
“At the moment the most accurate data comes from when the car has driven over the pothole or manhole”, says Dr Mike Bell, Global Connected Car Director, Jaguar Land Rover. “So we are also researching how we could improve the measurement and accuracy of pothole detection by scanning the road ahead, so the car could predict how severe they are before the vehicle gets near them.
For more info on how the tech works, check out the video below: