Jaguar Land Rover Prepares Pothole Alert Technology
Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications will both play an integral role when fully autonomous vehicles become a reality, but until then, Jaguar Land Rover is showing that these technologies could have a more practical use in the short term. The automaker is looking to use connected car technology as a means of identifying and rerouting cars around serious road hazards such as potholes or damaged manhole covers in an aptly named system called Pothole Alert.
The proposed system works by using sensors built into the MagneRide suspension system (found on the 2016 Range Rover Evoque and 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport models), which is designed to scan the road to continuously adjust suspension tuning for a smoother, more comfortable ride. Piggybacking on this, JLR thinks that its MagneRide system will also be able to detect such hazards and share it with other drivers, but down the road, JLR is also looking to build on this safety feature by actively scanning the road ahead of the vehicle using a forward-facing stereo camera.
As part of the research and testing of this technology, JLR is working with its hometown municipality to find ways for this tech to benefit government entities who can then (hopefully) fix the problem faster. In this testing, the Coventry City Council will use data collected by JLR research to see how it can be used by cities to stay ahead of problematic road conditions. Theoretically, Pothole Alert can provide road crews with the severity of potholes and the exact GPS location to better prioritize which hazards should be addressed first.
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Why it matters
On its own, this sounds like a pretty cool feature for a community-driven mobile app such as Waze, but integrating it into a V2V system that automatically alerts surrounding cars and motorists is an excellent use of this future technology. At this point, there is no telling if JLR plans to incorporate such tech into any production vehicles, so for now, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for potholes or other road hazards.
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