Potholes are a menace all over the world, especially where the temperature drops below freezing during winter. Jaguar Land Rover believes instead of waiting for the government to take care of the problem, cars should detect potholes, build a database and share the information through cloud services.

The idea is simple, and it doesn’t seem too difficult to put it into practice either. Cars already monitor the road ahead in numerous ways to adjust suspension settings, detect objects we wouldn’t want to hit and provide enough traction no matter what the road surface is like.

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Extend that to detecting potholes, broken drains and manhole covers, share this data in real-time via the cloud with other vehicles and with road authorities, and the job is done. The cars will know what’s coming to their wheels, and road authorities will be able to prioritize repairs more accurately.

JLR is working together with the Coventry City Council on this project, who seem to like the concept:

We already collect lots of data which we monitor very carefully ourselves but having this kind of extra information might allow us to further improve our maintenance programs which would save the taxpayer money.

The estimated cost of vehicle damage caused by potholes in the UK is £2.8 billion ($4.3 billion) every year.

While Jaguar Land Rover is moving towards putting fully autonomous functions into serial production one pothole at a time, Finnish tire manufacturer Nokian thinks armored sidewalls might be an even better idea.

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Aramid fibers are a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers used in aerospace and military applications, for ballistic-rated body armor fabric and ballistic composites. Plus in bicycle tires.

Therefore, Nokian claims their Aramid Sidewall technology makes their tires extremely resistant to wear and cuts. Somebody, call Bruce Wayne!

Basically, put these Nokians on a Discovery Sport connected to the cloud in Coventry, and you should be fine.


Contact the author at mate@jalopnik.com.