Not all countries have butter smooth roads like Germany that are free of potholes and imperfections, and waiting for the civic authorities to fix them can usually get long and frustrating. However, Land Rover doesn’t want you to keep sulfuring by thumping into the vicious potholes anymore. The British automaker is developing a new technology called ‘Pothole Alert’ that uses a stereo camera to scan the road surface for imperfections like potholes, raised manholes, and broken drain covers. By reading the reading the road ahead, it signals the magnetorheological suspension to prepare for the upcoming imperfection in a split second.
In concept, it is quite similar to Mercedes’ Magic Body Control, which uses radar technology to rear road imperfections. However, with Land Rover’s Pothole Alert system, it is also designed to alert other vehicles on the road of the hazard, and even alert local authorities of what needs to be fixed. The automaker is collaborating with the city of Coventry, UK, as part of its smart-city strategy to see how the geo-tagged, real-time information can help it address road conditions more swiftly. The technology isn’t being built into a consumer vehicle just yet — it’s still in testing on a research model of the Range Rover Evoque. However, Land Rover has bigger plans for the technology in the future. The company believes that detecting potholes is a big step toward a more fully 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,” said Mike Bell, Jaguar Land Rover’s connected car director. “If the pothole hazard was significant enough, safety systems could slow or even stop the car to minimize the impact.”
[Via – The Verge]