Jaguar Land Rover developing pothole detection
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is working on a new piece of technology that will, for a change, be more useful in South Africa than in Europe where it will be birthed: an autonomous pothole detector.
The plan is to detect a pothole and then adjust the car’s chassis and suspension setup to lessen the blow of the flaw in the road, or to completely avoid it.
The research is currently at a point where the car is able to detect a pothole when it has already driven over it (which doesn’t sound that useful at all) but the next step is to move that detection to before the car hits it.
This is accomplished by forward facing stereo cameras which will scan the road, and decide on the severity of the obstacle and either adjust the chassis and go over it, or avoid it, but without leaving the lane. The car could even go so far as to stop itself if it considers the damage would be severe enough if it continued over the pothole.
The British manufacturer has also said that this system can also register the potholes remotely, and that it is working with councils in the UK to help them identify which potholes need to be fixed and where they are.
JLR has not specified when this technology will be available commercially, but the use of stereo cameras is becoming common place, so in theory it is just software that needs to be written to make is a reality.
This could be very useful in South Africa, although expect your journey to take twice as long when ever you take your Jaguar due to all the roadside stops the car will be making as its faced with our infamous impassible potholes.