Land Rover has just unveiled its new technology that aims to not only help drivers avoid hitting potholes in the road, but help get them fixed. Sensors on a vehicle detect when it drives over a pothole, recording it with GPS location data, and then sending it to local road authorities who will hopefully go out and fix them, as well as other vehicles. The system can also recognize broken manhole covers, and other cars receiving the messages can warn their drivers in advance.
The sensors are being developed for testing on Land Rover’s Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport models. The technology works by monitoring changes in the vehicle’s suspension height to determine conditions of the road below. Other cars that are warned in advance could also potentially adjust their own suspension to reduce the impact when rolling over a pothole.
Right now, the technology can only detect pothole if a vehicle actually drives over them, but Land Rover is adding things like forward-facing cameras to the system in order to scan the road ahead. The other major hurdle at this point is that there aren’t really enough connected cars on the market yet to make sending out warning signals useful to other drivers.
Land Rover hopes the technology will not only lead to maintaining better roads, but contribute to development on fully autonomous vehicles. A car could one day be able to automatically avoid a pothole without leaving its lane, for example, or reduce speed to minimize the collision.