JLR takes on the pothole with new road crater detection system
Jaguar Land Rover is developing new ‘Pothole Alert’ system to prevent damage and discomfort on UK's bad roads
We’re often complaining about the large number of potholes in the UK and the damage they can do to our cars, but Jaguar Land Rover might soon have the answer. A research team at the brand is developing ingenious new tech that can find potholes, prepare the car for the impact and even share data on their location with the authorities.
The road-sensing camera system, co-developed with JLR’s research team and Coventry City Council, will be trialled in a Range Rover Evoque with the hope that, if it works correctly, it could make its debut across Jaguar and Land Rover ranges in the very near future.
• UK's pothole predicament explained in infographic
The Evoque and the new Discovery Sport can already be specced with ‘Magneride’ adaptive dampers, which use sensors to create a profile of the surface passing underneath the car and constantly adjust suspension settings to compensate for rough tarmac. But JLR wants to upgrade this new system so it can prepare for potholes, large ridges and manhole covers before the car runs over them.
The idea is that it will work in stages, alerting the driver to take avoiding action, bracing the suspension for an impending jolt to lessen the effect and then sharing the data over The Cloud in real-time to alert road-repairers and even other road users of exactly where the pothole is.
Coventry City public services councillor Rachel Lancaster claims the benefit isn’t just for drivers, as the data “could help us identify the cause of the problem, prioritise it and contact the owner of the manhole or drain to get it fixed more quickly”.
JLR states that the tech could eventually lead to a more autonomous system, which is able to physically divert the car around an obstacle or even halt it if the hole could potentially cause damage to the wheel or tyre.
What do you think of the pothole alert technology? Let us know in the comments section below...