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JLR connected cars will report road damage

Date: 10 June 2015   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Jaguar Land Rover is researching a new strand of connected car technology that will identify the location and severity of road defects and share the data online.

The car technology or future JLR products will be able to detect potholes, broken drains and damaged manhole covers. It will share the data with other vehicles and the authorities to help prioritise repairs.

It will be up to those authorities to then take action to repair damage.

JLR said cars that receive the warnings would allow the vehicles to adjust suspension settings to reduce the impact and smooth the ride, which would help reduce the potential for punctures, wheel and vehicle damage.

JLR is set to install road surface sensing technology to a Range Rover Evoque research vehicle.

Its research team will work with Coventry City Council to understand how road profile information could be shared with local authorities, and what information would be most useful for its road maintenance teams to identify repairs.

The research project will also investigate whether the camera could take an image of the road defect and share it with the local council along with a GPS location.

"While this gives our customers a more comfortable ride, we think there is a huge opportunity to turn the information from these vehicle sensors into 'big data' and share it for the benefit of other road users. This could help prevent billions of pounds of vehicle damage and make road repairs more effective," said Dr Mike Bell, global connected car director at Jaguar Land Rover.

"As part of our 'Smart Cities' strategy, we will be investigating how Jaguar Land Rover's Pothole Alert system could supply us with data in real-time from thousands of connected cars right across our road network," said Rachel Lancaster, cabinet minister for public services at Coventry City Council. "This could give us a very accurate, minute-by-minute picture of damage to road surfaces, manholes and drains in real time."