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New Ford Focus to come with innovative pothole detection system

The new Ford Focus will be available with a clever system that can detect potholes, and help reduce the likelihood of them causing damage to the vehicle.

Potholes are an increasing problem for motorists on British roads. Research by the Asphalt Industry Alliance found that while a pothole is filled in Britain every 21 seconds, there are still more than 24,000 miles of road which need repairing in the next year. The state of Britain’s roads has been worsened by the bitterly cold last winter, too.

And it’s not just their roughness which is leading to grumpy motorists, because hitting one can be expensive.

Thankfully, manufacturers are thinking of this and Ford’s latest innovation aims to crack down on pothole damage.

Its all-new Focus hatchback will be offered with a system that detects potholes, with first deliveries beginning in September. The system works by identifying when one of the car’s wheels is about to drop into a pothole and then adjusts the suspension automatically to limit how far the wheels fall.

By limiting how far the wheel and tyre drop, it means that the car will not strike the opposite side of the pothole as harshly. The front and rear suspension arms also work in tandem, as the rear can respond even faster than the front, as a signal from the front wheel gives a warning to the rear wheels before it even hits the pothole. It’s advanced stuff, and is monitored every two milliseconds.

The system comes as part of the optional ‘Continuously Controlled Damping’ (CCD) technology on the Focus, which costs £650, and monitors body, steering and braking inputs to adjust the suspension accordingly.

Guy Mathot, vehicle dynamics supervisor for the new Focus, said: “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 aren’t going away anytime soon, but with our advanced suspension technology for the all-new Focus, we’ve been able to reduce their impact.”

The new Focus is available to order now, priced from £17,930, although this tech is only available on ST-Line X, Titanium X and Vignale trim levels.

Ted Welford

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June 22, 2018

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