Ford first announced its pothole mitigation technology in early 2016 with the Mondeo, and to this day remains as the only company so far to remain committed in minimising damages caused by potholes. The technology now finds its way into the new Ford Focus range.

Potholes, as we Malaysians very well know, can damage the car’s rims, tyres and even the suspension. The Blue Oval’s pothole detection technology claims to help reduce these damages by employing sensors to detect when a wheel is about to fall into a pothole, and immediately stiffens up the suspension as it braces for impact. Doing so limits suspension travel, which means the wheel won’t dip in the hole entirely.

And because the wheel doesn’t fall as much, it won’t strike the opposite edge of the pothole as harshly upon exit. Ford says the rear suspension is capable of responding even quicker thanks to split-second warning it receives from the front sensors. Ford has already tested some of its new cars on a nightmarish 2 km road at its Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium, using replicas of some of the world’s worst potholes.

Ford Focus’ vehicle dynamics supervisor Guy Mathot 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 isn’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 pothole detection tech comes as part of the car’s Continuously Controlled Damping system, which monitors suspension, body, steering and braking inputs every two milliseconds and adjusts damping responses for improved ride quality.

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