Bad roads are not only discomfort, but also damage to running gear. Are there solutions to this problem? An innovative Ford’s system of protection against potholes, possibly, will become one of them.
The American automaker proposed technology for recognizing potholes. In short, it is following:
- 12 sensors detect the moment when the wheel falls into the pit;
- adaptive suspension adjusts the stiffness of the shock absorbers;
- the wheel, thus, getting to the pothole, does not touch its bottom and “jumps” over the pit.
As a result, the impact softens, the passage of unevenness becomes more comfortable, and the load on the suspension decreases.
If to speak in technical details, when it is signaled that the wheel fell into the pit, the cross-section of the valves in the shock absorbers is automatically reduced to a minimum. As a result, the rigidity of the suspension becomes maximum, and the vertical movement of the wheel is minimal. In fact, it remains “hanging” in the air and does not fall to the bottom of the pothole.
Simultaneously with the reaction of the front wheels, automatic pre-preparation of the rear wheels takes place. It is clear that the response time of the system is calculated in fractions of a second. For example, the control unit interrogates the sensors and instantly changes the stiffness of the shock absorbers every 2 milliseconds.
When the new system was tested, the pits were piled with ping-pong balls to the bottom. After the car with an adaptive suspension overcame such a pothole, they remained intact.
In 2018, the active suspension with a pothole protection feature will be offered for the Ford Focus of the latest generation.
Photo: 2019 Ford Focus wagon