Bri­tish mar­ques put pot­holes in the cloud

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

JAGUAR Land Rover is de­vel­op­ing the Pot­hole Alert sys­tem, which can iden­tify the lo­ca­tion and sever­ity of pot­holes and sim­i­lar haz­ards and then warn other ve­hi­cles about them as well.

The com­pany es­ti­mates pot­holes cost Bri­tish driv­ers R54 bil­lion a year in dam­ages.

De­vel­oped by Jaguar Land Rover’s Ad­vanced Re­search Cen­tre, Pot­hole Alert is based on a con­nected car tech­nol­ogy that mon­i­tors the road in real time, iden­ti­ties pot­holes, and ad­justs the sus­pen­sion in a mat­ter of mil­lisec­onds. It does this by way of the Mag­neRide high­per­for­mance, semi-ac­tive sus­pen­sion con­trol sys­tem, which uses mag­netic par­ti­cles sus­pended in a damp­ing fluid that changes vis­cos­ity in the pres­ence of a mag­netic field.

The group said in a state­ment it is work­ing to share the pot­hole list­ing in the cloud to warn other ve­hi­cles of ap­proach­ing haz­ards, so driv­ers can slow down and avoid dam­age, or the car can ad­just its sus­pen­sion au­to­mat­i­cally. Pot­hole Alert will be fit­ted into the Range Rover Evoque re­search ve­hi­cle, which will in­clude an ad­vanced for­ward-fac­ing stereo dig­i­tal cam­era. The lat­ter will scan the road ahead for pot­holes and pre­dict their sever­ity even be­fore the car reaches them.

Fraun­hofer is de­vel­op­ing a sim­i­lar pot­hole de­tec­tion sys­tem, but it re­lies on LI­DAR and is aimed at road main­te­nance author­i­ties.

The com­pany is also con­duct­ing re­search with Coven­try City Coun­cil on how the anony­mous in­for­ma­tion gath­ered by cars can be used to re­port road haz­ards im­me­di­ately to the author­i­ties and speed re­pairs. Even­tu­ally, the com­pany hopes to be able to pro­vide im­ages of the pot­hole and a GPS lo­ca­tion.

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