Jaguar-Land Rover have announced their plans to develop a system that will prevent expensive suspension and wheel repairs. Called Pothole Alert, JLR aims to detect, predict and share data on potholes. The company will test the system with a Range Rover Evoque.
Jaguar-Land Rover says their system can identify the location and severity of potholes, broken drains and manhole covers. Equipped with the MagneRide suspension, sensors from its active suspension system will detect changes in the height of the suspension and plots a point in its map to mark the hazard. JLR will also equip the test Evoque with new road surface sensing technology including a stereo digital camera that allows the system to determine the kind of pothole the vehicle is approaching.
"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," said Mike Bell, Jaguar-Land Rover Global Connected Car Director.
The company is also exploring the possibility of sharing pothole information to other road users. This helps other drivers slow down or avoid potholes altogether. JLR also said the system can be adapted to its active suspension, allowing it to adjust the damping depending on the type of pothole it detects.
JLR is currently working with the Coventry City Council in an effort to see how the Pothole Alert System can help road maintenance agencies. Photos and GPS positions of the potholes can be shared with local officials and help them with road works.