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Real-time pothole warnings developed by Ford

Date: 17 February 2017   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Ford has developed a virtual pothole map that can show drivers on a map where particularly dangerous hazards are located.

Crowd-sourced data will be used by the manufacturer to display where the hazards are to other motorists, while the manufacturer said is exploring the use of a suspension system that reduces the severity of bumps thanks to this data, with testing due to start later this year.

According to Ford, pothole damage claims are received by local authorities every 17 minutes, with claims averaging £432.

"A virtual pothole map could highlight a new pothole the minute it appears and almost immediately warn other drivers that there is a hazard ahead," said Uwe Hoffmann, research engineer, advanced chassis control technologies at Ford of Europe. "Our cars already feature sensors that detect potholes and now we are looking at taking this to the next level."

At present, models in the company's range use software that detects potholes and adjusts the suspension immediately to mitigate damage, but this data is not currently shared between vehicles.