How Badly Can Potholes Damage Your Car? A Lot Less with Ford’s New Pothole Detection System [News]


Many people consider potholes the scourge of American roads. Ford says that they have a solution to this problem. Recently the Dearborn automaker announced a new pothole detection technology that will be released with the 2017 Ford Fusion Sport V6. The technology, named Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD), allows the car to detect and avoid potholes in the road. The system uses 12 sensors to monitor the road every two milliseconds. After the sensors detect a pothole, they send a signal to the shocks, telling the car to contract the shock-absorber, lift up the wheel and avoid hard impact with the far side of the pothole.

Not only are potholes a continuing problem in the U.S., but they are uncomfortable for you and your passengers, and can be quite damaging to your car (and wallet). A survey conducted by Trusted Choice and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America found that half of car owners from 2009 to 2014 experienced vehicle damage due to potholes. Damage from potholes can range from a bubbled sidewall to a cracked rim, and in some extreme cases, damage to suspension components and the car’s frame. While minor damage will not completely break the bank, it can still end up costing you a pretty penny.

Watch the 2017 Ford Fusion Sport automatically avoid potholes

AAA states that Americans spend an average of $3 billion repairing damage from potholes. Replacing a tire can cost anywhere from $100-$350 depending on the size of your wheel, and fixing or replacing a bent rim can cost a similar amount (again this depends on your wheels). If you get really unlucky and damage more than one wheel, you could see a repair bill nearing $1,000.

Poor roads are becoming an ever more relevant problem for U.S. citizens to deal with in their day to day lives. According to a recent study conducted by the Washington Post, there are seven states in which 35 percent or more of the roads are reported to be in “poor” condition. If you expand your search to states where more than 25 percent of roads are in bad condition, the list grows from seven states to a whopping 22 states.

2017 Ford Fusion CCD pothole detection system

The worst state, although it is technically a district, is Washington DC. The capitol has 92 percent of its roads listed as being in poor condition. Furthermore, none of DC’s roads are listed as being in good condition. There is effectively not a single road in DC that can be described as good. If you live in one of the worse-off states on the list, any form of preventative technology would be very useful.

Since Ford is headquartered in a state where 40 percent of the roads are considered to be in “poor” condition, I’m surprised a solution to a problem that affects millions of American across the nation wasn’t engineered sooner.

To see some of Ford’s other technology innovations in action, check out this TFLcar video of Ford’s Fusion Hybrid that can almost drive itself: