Not a day goes by when motorists don't complain about the shoddy road surface that we have to put up with over here. In fact, things seem worse than ever this year thanks to the 'Beast from the East' earlier this year, that brought icy conditions that further damaged the roads.
Such is the extent of the problems on UK roads, that last year a pothole was repaired every 21 seconds in England and Wales – amazing, they were repaired that frequently, yet there still seems to be one every few metres.
Potholes aren't just unsightly, they cause damages to tyres, wheels, and suspension, totalling several hundred million pounds in repair costs each year.
Now Ford has developed an innovative pothole detection system, which can tell when a wheel is dropping into a pothole, and adjusts the suspension accordingly to limit the drop of the wheel. That helps the tyre not hit as hard when it exits the pothole, thus limiting the amount of damage sustained. As well, it sends a signal to the rear wheel, allowing both the front and rear to work in tandem in just a split second.
'Our engineers are always searching for the roughest roads to really test our suspension to the limit, but more and more we're noticing that the rough roads are finding us,' said Guy Mathot, Ford Focus vehicle dynamics supervisor. 'Potholes are a problem that isn’t going away anytime soon, but with our advanced suspension technology for all-new Focus, we've been able to reduce their impact.'
The feature, which was developed on a specially developed road at Ford's test facility in Belgium, will be available as a part of the optional Continuously Controlled Damping technology on the new Ford Focus which arrives later this summer.