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New Ford Focus gets pothole detection tech

Ford’s fourth-generation Focus will gain a new pothole detection system that can reduce the impact – and the chances of damage – from hitting potholes.

New Ford Focus pothole detection technology can reduce the impact of striking potholes

New Ford Focus pothole detection technology can reduce the impact of striking potholes

Due to start sales this summer, the new Focus will be able to sense when a wheel is falling into a pothole and adjust the suspension to limit how far the wheel drops; this reduces the impact when the wheels hit the other side of the pothole and smooths out the ride.

Data published recently by the RAC showed the percentage of breakdowns likely caused by potholes and poor roads doubled in the first quarter; the organisation also warned that it expected to see more vehicles suffering pothole damage in the second quarter of 2018 compared with recent years.

Ford’s new technology forms part of the optional Continuously Controlled Damping, which monitors inputs to aid ride quality, and has been tested on a specially created road at the company’s test facility in Belgium as well as on a wide range of European public roads.

“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,” said Guy Mathot, Ford Focus vehicle dynamics supervisor. “Potholes are a problem that isn’t going away anytime soon, but with our advanced suspension technology for all-new Focus, we’ve been able to reduce their impact.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.