British marques put potholes in the cloud
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.