Automotive

Ford fits Fusion with computer-controlled shock absorbers to combat pothole damage

Ford fits Fusion with computer...
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The Fusion's interior remains largely unchanged from the original car's, but that's no bad thing
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The Fusion's interior remains largely unchanged from the original car's, but that's no bad thing
The V6 Fusion's suspension will avoid potholes by stiffening up when it detects imperfections on the road
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The V6 Fusion's suspension will avoid potholes by stiffening up when it detects imperfections on the road
Inside, the Fusion gets a new gear selector among other small changes
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Inside, the Fusion gets a new gear selector among other small changes
The Fusion's suspension system can respond to potholes in under 2 milliseconds, and the rear wheels work in tow
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The Fusion's suspension system can respond to potholes in under 2 milliseconds, and the rear wheels work in tow
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Potholes are an unavoidable fact of life for drivers. At best, hitting one will give you a nasty jolt, but at worst they can lead to buckled wheels, burst tires or damaged suspensions. Ford has taken to solving this problem by creating a system that reads the road ahead and prepares the car's dampers for the hit, making for a smooth ride in the cabin.

So, just how does Ford's continuously controlled damping (CCD) system work? Onboard computers analyze the signals from 12 high-resolution sensors and adjust the dampers to their stiffest setting when a pothole is detected.

Because the suspension is stiffer, the Fusion's wheels don't drop as far into the pothole, which means it doesn't hit the other side quite as hard as it otherwise would have. The front suspension can respond in just 2 milliseconds and the rear suspension is, theoretically, faster again because they can use the front wheels as an early warning system.

When you're not crashing over potholes, the system works as a regular adaptive damping setup with a comfort mode and a stiffer sports setup for when drivers want to make the most of the Fusion V6's 325 hp (242 kW) in the twisties.

Unlike a similar systems, Ford's system doesn't warn other drivers of potholes the Fusion has encountered like the one being developed by Jaguar Land Rover, or log the pothole's location for reporting to road maintenance crews like the system being developed by Fraunhofer.

Ford's pothole-detecting suspension system will be available at the start of the Northern Hemisphere summer on the V6 Fusion Sport. You can check out the system in Ford's video below.

Source: Ford

New Ford Fusion V6 Sport Helps Protect Against Potholes

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6 comments
Grunt
It might well improve the experience for the passengers, but if manufacturers persist in fitting ridiculously low-profile tyres, the rim is still going to take a hit!
Bob Flint
So does the system see through water and calculate the depth?
gettodacessna
How does this affect the traction of the car when one or more of the wheels effectively lose contact with the ground? I guess if the wheel was going through a pothole there'd be a loss of traction anyway, but wouldn't having it hover completely over the ground would be another story?
Catweazle
So does the system see through water and calculate the depth? Bob Flint 22nd February, 2016 @ 9:44 a.m. (California Time) Like this? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/flooding/12167407/Driver-has-car-sucked-in-to-sink-hole-that-she-thought-was-a-puddle.html
butkus
This reads like "unreasonably complicated suspension saves itself over spines of passengers", with the purported "comfort mode" adding insult to injury.
NicolasHagner
“Potholes are an unavoidable fact of life for drivers.” You should add; in third world countries and some part of the USA… Actually, having travelled quite a bit, paved roads potholes in NY and NJ are way worst than anything I have seen in any third world countries.