Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ford's Pothole Detection System

          Ford has announced that the 2017 Ford Fusion Sport will include a pothole detection system that will save drivers money by preventing pothole damage.  This technology continuously tracks the road that is being driven on and anticipates potholes by gathering info from 12 high-resolution sensors.  This system controls the springs and dampers in the suspension in order to avoid the tire from fully entering the pothole.  This new Ford Fusion adjusts the dampers every 2 milliseconds to detect potholes and avoid any damage that could be dealt.  The 2017 Ford Fusion Sport will become the first non-luxury, midsize sedan to offer this technology.    

          This article shows the new technologies that are becoming readily available in mass consumer cars and demonstrates how certain luxuries are becoming cheaper for companies.  This technology will help to decrease the number of cars damaged and the amount of money that Americans spend every year on fixing pothole damage.  AAA reports that every year Americans spend about $3 billion per year fixing damages from potholes, up to $300 per car.  As this technology further develops it is likely that car companies will continue to not add a spare tire to newer cars.
          However, the fact that newer cars may not have a spare tire isn’t necessarily a good thing.  AAA has continuously requested that car companies continue to add a spare tire because of the damage that does occur to cars every year.  A problem with this technology is that it does not account for other ways that cars tires may be damaged.  Should a car go over a bump, it could still damage the tire, suspension, and rims of the car.  Another aspect that Ford failed to report is at which speeds this technology will work.  This tech is like the auto stop feature that new cars may offer but the car will only stop if it is going below 30 miles an hour.  So the question remains to Ford, at which speeds will this system fail to do its job?
           I personally believe that this technology will become increasingly useful to many consumers; especially as winter storms become worse and create more potholes on roads.  As more cars continue to offer this technology, I think that Americans will continue to save money on fixing their cars every year, which may impact repair shops business.  However, I do think that car companies should continue to add a spare tire, even if it's just an option.

Works Cited:

Woodyard, Chris. "Ford Offers Pothole Protection in New Fusion Sport Sedan." USA Today. Gannett, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

 "Pothole Damage Costs U.S. Drivers $3 Billion Annually | AAA NewsRoom." AAA NewsRoom. N.p., 16 Feb. 2016. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.

1 comment:

  1. I think Ford’s pothole detection system is a great advancement in car technology that will be an affordable, but beneficial change to new perspective car consumers. After experiencing a few flat tires from hitting potholes, I would definitely be interested in this feature in my car. Especially drivers who own high-end cars that tires could be around a few hundred dollars would love this feature because these cars typically have thin tires that look nice but cannot withstand constant potholes. I think companies not putting spare tires in cars in the future could be looked at both positively and negatively. I think it could save car companies some money if they do not have to produce all those extra tires to put one in their cars. However, I also think consumers will have a big problem with this because although this technology can help prevent tire damage from potholes, it is not 100% damage-proof and the tire can also receive damage from other things such as nails. I also think Ford reporting that the car will stop only if it is going below 30 mph is a problem. Although I think it would be hard and dangerous for a car moving at a fast speed to stop every time it encounters a pothole, I also think driving over a pothole at a fast speed causes the most damage to a tire. Also, even if the car does stop when it is going below 30 mph, I think it could be a problem if other cars behind it are following too closely. I am curious to know if the driver and passengers in the car can feel the change the car makes when it is reacting to the potholes. I also want to know how effective the springs are that control this system and if they need to be changed. If they need to be changed, I think Ford needs to tell its customers how often they need to be changed or have maintenance done and how much it costs because this could be an additional investment that customers do not know they are getting involved in. Other than these few problems that I think Ford might face in the future, I think it is a great first step toward fixing the problem cars encounter constantly with potholes and it is a better, more affordable fix that constantly having to replace your tires.


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