Unlike some other manufacturers, Ford doesn’t save its very latest advanced technology for its most expensive models and then let it trickle into more affordable vehicles later on. Instead, the Blue Oval tends to jump in with both feet and offer its latest technology in whatever next new model can accommodate it. In the case of a new system Ford has come up with that can detect potholes, it’s the all-new Focus that has the honor of debuting the technology.
Versions of the new fourth-generation Focus equipped with continuously adaptive damping will be able to smooth out the ride for the driver and passengers when traveling on broken road surfaces by ‘seeing’ the potholes. The system makes use of 12 high-resolution sensors that are able to detect the potholes before they are driven over and adjusts the suspension setting accordingly to makes things as comfortable as possible for the car’s occupants.
When a pothole is detected by the continuously adaptive damping, which will be available as a cost-option for new Focus models that don’t have it as standard, the dampers automatically adjust to the hardest possible setting. The reasoning behind that is so the wheels don’t fall as deep into the hole as they would do otherwise when they run over it. Ford claims that this reduces the impact as a wheel bounces back out of a pothole, which, as well as improving the comfort of the ride, also reduces the chances of damage to the car.
The system was introduced into the Ford range in the US last year, but the Focus will be the first model to get it in Europe when it goes on sale later in the summer. After that, all models above the Focus in the Ford portfolio will have it available.
Ford’s vehicle dynamics supervisor for the new Focus, Guy Mathot, says of the system: “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. Potholes are a problem that isn’t going away any time soon but, with our advanced suspension technology for the all-new Focus, we’ve been able to reduce their impact.” – AFP Relaxnews