Potholes cause UK motorists around £2.3 billion a year in damages, now Jaguar Land Rover are researching new technology to try and prevent this. The British manufacturers are currently working on new connected car technology that will identify and categorise, and locate potholes, broken drains and manhole covers, see which ones are the most sever and attach a location to them. The data identified will then be shared with other vehicles in real time via cloud.
Jaguar Land Rover also hopes that this new technology will encourage road authorities and councils to prioritise repairs. The data received will act as a warning to other vehicles and help them avoid potholes and manholes. Vehicles would be able to avoid the danger or adjust the suspension to reduce impact if unavoidable.
The next stage in the research process is to equip the Range Rover Evoque with new road surfacing technology, including a front facing stereo digital camera. The Evoque is currently equipped with JLR's MagneRide which has sensors that allow the vehicle to profile the road surface under the wheels and identify potholes. The new technology would also record this information then upload it to the cloud.
Speaking of this new pothole research Dr Mike Bell, Global Connected Car Director, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “At the moment the most accurate data comes from when the car has driven over the pothole or manhole", 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.
“Ultimately, sensing the road ahead and assessing hazards is a key building block on our journey to the autonomous car. In the future, we are looking to develop systems that could automatically guide a car around potholes without the car leaving its lane and causing a danger to other drivers. If the pothole hazard was significant enough, safety systems could slow or even stop the car to minimize the impact. This could all help make future autonomous driving a safe and enjoyable reality."
You can watch the research story here: