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Ford developing virtual pothole map

  • Online map designed to highlight pothole locations
  • Information displayed via in-car screens
  • Option to reroute around particularly bad potholes

Company car drivers could be set to benefit from a new cloud-based virtual map which promises to highlight potential potholes and suggest alternative routes.

Ford already has pothole recognition technology in the form of its Continuously Controlled Damping with Pothole Mitigation – a system which recognises craters in the road and adjusts the suspension accordingly.

By saving this information and sending it to an online database of potholes, the manufacturer aims to create a virtual map – accessible to all Fords fitted with the technology – that displays up-to-date information on the location and severity of each pothole.

Using this data, the in-car displays will be able to highlight potholes as they are approached and reroute the sat-nav depending on the quality of the road surface.

Uwe Hoffman, research engineer at the Advanced Chassis Control Technologies department of Ford Europe, states that: “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.

Ford reckons that in the UK a pothole damage claim is reported every 17 minutes, with the cost of each averaging £432.