Potholes are not just an annoyance, they can be a serious safety hazard on the road. They are jarring and uncomfortable, they can introduce tire bubbles, bend rims, blow out tires, and other worse things that can render your vehicle inoperable, putting you in a rough spot.
Ford has a new solution for pothole damage mitigation. The new 2017 Ford Fusion will have the Continuously Controlled Damping system. Basically it’s a system of 12 sensors that monitor the road surfaces every 2 milliseconds. When it sees a pothole it will send signals to the shocks to not descend as much as usual, essentially “skipping” over the pothole.
The video below by AutoMotoTV shows Ford’s CCD engineer, Jason Michener, explaining how the system works in real life. He has taken a standard size pothole and placed ping pong balls within it to indicate wheel descent, then they ran a Ford Fusion equipped with CCD and another vehicle without CCD over the pothole. The ping pong balls ran over with the new CCD system was not damaged indicating that the shock has identified the pothole and prevented the wheel from descending like normal. The ping pong balls ran over by the vehicle without CCD did not share the same fate.
The system doesn’t look as sophisticated as Mercedes Benz Magic Body Control but seems like it will mitigate a real serious issue on roads today. However, several question remain, how will this system behave over time? What will happen if the sensors get covered up by dirt and grime? What happens if a fender gets dented and obstructs the sensor readings?