Jaguar Land Rover blends connected car, smart city tech
Pothole Alert system could notify local government when your car hits a rough spot
Automaker Jaguar Land Rover is developing technology that will use cloud-computing to push data from a vehicle to municipal authorities in an innovative blend of connected car and smart city technology.
Imagine driving along and hitting a pothole. Most of us make a face then forget about the pothole until it’s either fixed or we hit the same patch of road again.
Jaguar Land Rover has other ideas with its MagneRide platform. In-vehicle sensors will record the location and severity of a pothole or other road hazard – misaligned drain or manhole covers, for instance – and push that data into a cloud-based computing platform.
From there, the data is available in real time to other connected cars so drivers can avoid making the same mistake, as well as to local street repair authorities to help identify and prioritize maintenance.
Mike Bell, global connected car director for Jaguar Land Rover, said the technology will “allow the vehicle to profile the road surface under the wheels and identify potholes, raised manholes and broken drain covers. By monitoring the motion of the vehicle and changes in the height of the suspension, the car is able to continuously adjust the vehicle’s suspension characteristics, giving passengers a more comfortable ride over uneven and damaged road surfaces.”
The MagneRide technology is available in the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport vehicles, while the communication with street authorities is still in the design phase.
Bell said the next level of smart city integration presents a “huge opportunity to turn the information from these vehicle sensors into big data and share it for the benefit of other road users.”
The research and development work is being conducted at Jaguar Land Rover’s Advanced Research Center in the United Kingdom.
The smart city connectivity work is being done in collaboration with the Coventry City Council.
Councilor Rachel Lancaster said the project dovetails with other smart city initiatives.
“We will be investigating how Jaguar Land Rover’s Pothole Alert system could supply us with data in real time from thousands of connected cars right across our road network. This could give us a very accurate, minute-by-minute picture of damage to road surfaces, manholes and drains in real time.”