It’s no secret that some of the most irritating things about driving are potholes, road ruts and other road surface imperfections. While we would all want to drive and ride on billiard-table-smooth streets, sadly, this is not the reality. But what if there was a way to avoid such road nuisances?
No, we’re not referring to the DPWH finally getting its act together, nor are we suggesting you drive like a madman and swerve all over the place just to avoid a pothole. In the near future, Jaguar Land Rover thinks that instead of avoiding potholes, maybe there’s a way to lessen the severity of their impact. It proposes to do this via its new Pothole Alert research project.
The system, which is now undergoing testing on a Range Rover Evoque test mule, aims to help drivers identify the location of potholes, road ruts, broken road surfaces, and manhole covers. As you know, all these imperfections aren’t just jarring to occupants when driven over, they can likewise cause severe damage to the vehicle. These include tire punctures and suspension damage, among others.
The Pothole Alert system uses GPS to help locate the road surface flaws. This alerts the driver so he/she can slow down to lessen the impact. The system can likewise adjust the suspension to lessen the brunt of the force. But of course, it doesn’t end there.
In true gentleman’s fashion, the Pothole Alert system can share the potholes’ location with other vehicles via a connected network. This way, other drivers can likewise slow down, or their car’s suspension can adjust itself to help make the ride less jarring. All these help to lessen the costs and hassles of vehicular damage, which amounts to a fortune around the world.
In the future, the system could also be fitted with forward-facing cameras to better “see” the road surface ahead. Jaguar Land Rover is likewise working with the Coventry City Council in its hometown to help the driver identify road imperfections. If the city needs to do road repairs, these could be kept to a minimum radius and not be scattered all over the place, and cause traffic and inconvenience to motorists. In the end, all these aim to provide smooth driving for all, not to mention help develop an autonomous driving network for the near future.
Good luck getting our local government agencies on-board with that.
Will the Pothole Alert system work on our roads? We think it will. Our only concern is that the system might go crazy, what with the number of potholes on our "roads." In the meantime, watch how Jaguar Land Rover plans to lessen the jarring ride.
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