It’s safe to say that the UK suffers from an awful pothole problem. There are hundreds of thousands of potholes on our roads, and they’re the bane of many drivers’ lives. Potholes are not only uncomfortable to drive over, but they can seriously damage your car and leave you out of pocket.
Problems caused by these horrible road defects include punctures, shattered alloy wheels, loose trim pieces or rattling and suspension damage. Hit a particularly bad one and you could be looking at a bill for hundreds or thousands of pounds – or having to send your car to the scrapyard.
To try and reduce the impact and potential damage of our broken roads, Ford is introducing pothole detection technology on its all-new Focus. Twelve high-res sensors scan the road ahead and, if the system senses that the car will hit a pothole, the dampers are automatically stiffened. Ford maintains that this improves ride quality and lessens the risk of damage.
When the system sees a pothole, it’ll also send a signal to the rear wheels. The rear dampers therefore have a few extra milliseconds to tense up, so it could be felt best if you’re in the back seats.
“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, supervisor for the Focus’ driving dynamics. “Potholes are a problem that isn’t going away anytime soon, but with our advanced suspension technology for the all-new Focus, we’ve been able to reduce their impact.
Ford’s amazing pothole detection technology is available with the optional adaptive suspension, which will cost £650 when the car reaches our dealerships in September. Once rolled out on the Focus, the tech will be available on all models above it in Ford’s hierarchy. In other words, anything except the Ka+, Fiesta and EcoSport.
Potholes are said to cost UK drivers upwards of £2.8 billion per year, and our roads are particularly bad this year because of the freak weather brought over by Storm Emma and the Beast from the East.