The technology can currently identify the presence of a hole, a loose manhole cover or a broken drain in the road, and adjust the suspension to lessen the impact and keep the car riding as smoothly as possible.
It uses sensors positioned under the vehicle to profile the road and the car then continuously adjusts the suspension as required.
Currently the research vehicles can recognise a hole only when they have driven over it, but the next stage of the process, says JLR, is to identify potholes before the car gets near them and automatically guide the car around them without leaving its lane. This would be done via a forward-facing stereo digital camera, which would scan the road ahead. If the hole was severe enough, the system could slow or even stop the car to minimise the impact.
This information could then be shared with other vehicles and even the local authorities to enable them to fix the problem as soon as possible. An image and a GPS location could be sent to help repairs take place swiftly. JLR's research team is working closely with Coventry City Council to explore the possibilities.
Potholes are estimated to cause around £2.8 billion of damage to cars per year.
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