By on February 19, 2016

pothole

America’s infrastructure is decaying. Add that to the fact that we seem to prefer to fix roads rather than build them to last in the first place, and the result is that U.S. drivers are likely going to come across a pothole or two in their typical travels. The new Ford Fusion will feature a pothole mitigation system that will make that path a little smoother, allowing the car to literally skip over the road hazards.

It’s not just a matter of comfort; potholes cause a lot of damage. Per the Detroit News, the American Automobile Association released a study on Wednesday that said that damage to vehicles caused by potholes costs American drivers about $3 billion every year, and the average repair cost is about $300. TRIP says that potholes cause urban drivers each over $500 in damage on average each year.

Likely because of the proliferation of large and wide aluminum wheels (and corresponding tires with minimal sidewall height), AAA notes that the people whose vehicles do get damaged by chuckholes tend to experience repeat instances, with vehicles being damaged an average of three times in five years. Wheels aren’t the only things that potholes can damage. Control arms and even unibodies can be bent or broken.

To mitigate that damage, Ford is rolling out a system that detects large potholes and stiffens up the suspension before the tire reaches the hole. That prevents the wheel from dropping completely to the bottom of the hole and also keeps the shocks fully stiff as the suspension absorbs the impact of the trailing edge of the hole. The technology allows the car to effectively skip over the pothole with less jarring impact to the vehicle, road and passengers.

The system is based on a dozen sensors mounted just ahead of the front wheels that read the road every 2 milliseconds, providing data for the computer that adjusts what Ford is calling “continuously controlled damping” shock absorbers. I wouldn’t expect Ford to give credit by name to their crosstown rivals but the system undoubtedly uses magneto-rheological dampers first developed by General Motors. There’s no shame in that — Ferrari and Audi use GM’s shock absorber tech as well, as do the higher performance versions of Ford’s own Mustang.

The system will be standard on the mid-cycle refreshed version of the Ford Fusion midsize sedan when it goes on sale later this year. Ford, which already provides the pothole mitigation system on the Lincoln MKS and MKZ, says that the Fusion will be the first vehicle in its market segment in the U.S. with the technology. It will a be available in Europe on the Mondeo, Galaxy and S-MAX. One assumes Lincoln’s new Continental flagship will also feature the system.

While Ford proving grounds in Michigan and Belgium try to reproduce the world’s worst potholes, the tech had its final shakedown development, pun intended, done on the Detroit area’s abysmal public road surfaces, prompting some engineers to complain when local municipalities finally fixed some of the worst road hazards.

To demonstrate how effectively their pothole mitigation system works, Ford produced the video above, lining the bottom of potholes with smiley-faced ping pong balls. The balls never get touched by the Fusion while at least some are crushed by a car not equipped with the system.

Interestingly, it looks like Ford shot the video in one of their company parking lots in Dearborn, using the typical kind of damage that happens to asphalt roads due to Michigan’s repeated freeze-thaw cycles. It’s nice to see that Ford Motor Company is prioritizing mitigating pothole damage to their customers’ cars over fixing their own potholes.

[Image/Video: Ford Motor Company]

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193 Comments on “Ford Uses Continuously Controlled Damping to Take The Shock (and Damage) Out of Potholes...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nice work Ronnie. Maybe FoMoCo should also consider putting actual tires back on their products as well instead of just developing an expensive suspension.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Y U no want 22s on midsized sedan from Ford?!?

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think it’s that expensive if they’re making it standard equipment. Also, Ford is hyping the tech but they’re not the only automaker doing this. One of the cool things about modern cars is that a lot of the technology is already in place, it’s just a matter of hooking things up and writing the code.

      The industry has been working on active suspensions since Formula One told Lotus they couldn’t do it with their race cars. Before they came up with the trick magnetic shocks, GM was already using a lot of electronic control on Cadillac suspensions.

      I do think that if car companies offered “minus one” wheel options, a lot of people would opt in. I like cars that handle but I’d prefer that modern tires had about an inch more sidewall.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I’d love to know what is pushing the move to bigger rims/shorter sidewalls. Is it purely a styling thing or is it because consumers think there is value in the bigger rims. For example: ohhhhh the 19″ special rims are the ones I gotta have, because those 18″s are for losers who can’t afford the good stuff.

        For the track I’d love to go -1 since I’d save money (and some weight in theory) but my over-sized brakes require I’d stick with my current setup. Now on my truck +1 wouldn’t be bad because now I have massive sidewalls but I never off road thus a sportier profile would at least look better.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          I could be wrong, but my understanding is its a chain reaction. Pedestrain safety regs in EU are forcing hood lines and belt lines higher, making the cars more slab sided. Slab sided cars need ever bigger wheel arches and ever bigger wheel and tire packages to fill them.

          My 04 Mazda 6 looked perfect on the OEM 17s. 17s was the big size. AS mentioned, the Alero looked sensible on 15s and sporty on 16. Put 16s or even 17s on the current Fusion and they look like casters.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            I was wondering about this as well.
            It must be that the lower the car the better MPG AND cool looks. You might be right that it is chain reaction…but I am thinking it is more monkey follow the leader as to design and wanna be cool looking more than anything else.
            You just gotta have that low, wide look that the fast cars do.
            But the ride is compromised as is the rim strength, I would guess.

            I pine for the larger tires with air cushioning.

            Looking like I am gonna follow all the other old folks down here and end up BACK in the Minivan. Told my wife we will wait for the new Pacifica to see how over premium priced the Hybrid will be.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            davefromcalgary has the skinny. It’s all about trying to disguise the awkward height of hoods and window sills.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yeah the EU pedestrian safety regs are basically dictating the shape of the front ends of cars. They all have that flat bullnose, low-slung grille, headlamps pushed aside, and the high hoodline drooping down to said nose. It more or less ruined the look of the Mustang and is a large part of why I didn’t replace my 2012 with a 2015. everything from the doors forward is just f**king ugly.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Yep… I’m sticking with 16s on the Civic. 17s look perfect but they make the ride… brittle. Being able to run TSX brakes under 16s pretty much seals the deal.

          I had 18s on my Z and had sticker shock when I saw how much they would cost to replace. One of many reasons I sold it after about 2 years.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          The biggest thing pushing the large wheels are reviews. If a manufacturer puts anything smaller than a 19″ wheel on anything they get scorned for it.

        • 0 avatar

          If you put 16″ rims on a Fusion, it will look really bad with those tall sides. Big rims on a new car are like biceps on a fat guy, or big boobs on a heavy lady. They can draw the eye away from the gut.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          Large diameter rims do more than damage ride quality. Rim material is heavier than tire sidewalls, so the larger the rims the greater amount of energy needed to get them rotating and stopped. So they hurt mileage and increase brake wear. Low profile tires and larger rims cost a lot more than higher sidewalls. The only things they do better than smaller rims are cornering precision and being fashionable.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Neither of which matter a great percentage of the time. I expect the sort of cars which are tracked or driven with sporting pretensions to offer big wheel packages. Everything else, not so much. Really its all just poor taste.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          There are two reasons for the popularity of large rims. One is fashion, started by a niche in the custom car business.

          The other could be called a simpleton factor. People think “bigger is better”. Bigger rims must be better. Where the simpleton factor comes in is that everyone, without exception, that I have talked to about larger rims thinks that larger rims means the overall tire/wheel diameter is larger. Which must be good, right? Small wheels look cheap and must be “bad”. Larger wheels have always cost more, and must be “better”. Very few people know that a larger rim always comes with a tire of smaller diameter. How people fail to put together “larger rim” + “lower tire” = same overall diameter, is beyond me. Yet another triumph of marketing over common sense in an industry so burdened with such bs.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            A large rim comes with a lower profile tire. The outside diameter i.e. where the rubber meets the road can be exactly the same between an 18 and a 20 or any rim size for that matter.

            The profile is lower to offset for rim size.

            My truck came with 17 , 18, or 20 inch rims. Here are 2 examples of stock tires offered.

            A 275/55R20 Wrangler SRA has 633 revoluions/mile

            A 275/65/R18 Wrangler SRA has 629 rotations/mile

            That is only 0.6 percent difference or 0.006.

            Outside diameter is virtually the same if aspect ratio’s are kept the same to compensate for rim size.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lou,
            Why did your pickup come with so many different rim sizes.

            Since there were three different rims on your pickup, I do hope you paired the front axle.

            Was your pickup secondhand? I would change the rims ASAP to a common size on all axles.

          • 0 avatar
            Truckducken

            Here’s the part I don’t get: since the larger diameter wheels are capped by less rubber than small wheels, why the hell am I paying more money for less rubber? Is this also the simpleton factor at work? If so, people, it’s time to stand up against the man!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Big Al from Oz – um, do you realize how unintelligent that question is?

            The F150 since it has MULTIPLE configurations comes with different rim sizes.

            My truck since it was the XLT with STX package (same as XLT chrome package in USA) comes with 18 inch rims……….

            ALL

            FOUR

            You actually think that my truck came with one size of each?

            ROTFLMFAO!

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          In addition to what others have written: The popularity, and aspirational status of certain iconic German models. Known for “handling”, yet fitted with simple struts up front. Strut cars benefit disproportionally from short sidewalls (and lowering), as struts cannot control camber properly over any length of suspension stroke. Leading to large BBS wheels etc. showing up on the higher performance versions of said German icons, then becoming de rigeur via trickle down.

          Honda, being “ever cleverer” Honda, challenged the trend, by fitting almost race car levels of camber control on the S2000, allowing them to use 16s, without ever, ever experiencing a single incidence of losing the front. Ever. Even on the slickest, most waterlogged, leaf covered Mt Fuji rain forest “roads.” But the somewhat uncompromising “getting the front through the corner is the car designer’s job, getting the rear to follow along is the drivers’…” attitude, didn’t seem to go down too well with most buyers and reviewers outside Japan. Top flight autocrossers, and many canyon drivers, loved it, though…

          Strut cars can have very good turn in and front end grip, _as_long_as_ the tires are low profile, wide and grippy. And they still, should you hit a bump midcorner, react by rolling onto the sidewall and pushing for a second, rather than tucking in and requiring insta correction lest you spin, the way less theoretically camber compromised front ends can easily do. But in this age of measured lap times for bragging rights, strut cars _need_ their tires to be low profile, hence rims large.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            ” Known for “handling”, yet fitted with simple struts up front. Strut cars benefit disproportionally from short sidewalls (and lowering), as struts cannot control camber properly over any length of suspension stroke. ”

            99.99999% of car buyers don’t even have any clue what you just said. nor do they give a rip.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            Thanks, very informative.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          Stylists definitely push for the bigger wheels (actually, lower-ratio tires), but in the end, customers willingly pay more for them, so the bean-counters let them through.

          I sense that customers *do* think bigger wheels are better–probably a subconscious reaction to styling, but also the idea that they handle better. I don’t get the impression that many customers realize they give anything up. (Two friends had the same Acura TL except for wheels. One mentioned how the other’s felt so much smoother & more comfortable. The idea that smaller wheels ride smoother was new.)

          Therefore, as a whole, they think they’re better, they are willing to pay more, car makers +1/+2 everything to ‘add value’ and make money.

          If more customers knew the downsides and refused to pay more, then the bean counters would limit the wheels to option packages.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            So what was once common sense is now forgotten and is rediscovered?

            Marketeer’s circle of life.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            There definitely is an odd psychology at play. People think larger wheels/lower profile tires means better performance and more value.

            I had mentioned before a former motorcycle designer who writes for Cycle Canada. He had a similar story about bike tire width.

            He had designed a bike specifically with the best tire width for the typical riding it would see. He was told to design the bike for a 180/190 size tire because it would make the bike sell better.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      So they’re equipping cars with Krispy Kremes rather than tires?

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      A complicated suspension requiring oodles of sensors and electronics not otherwise needed on a freaking midsize car.

      My Alero came with OEM 16’s originally. I found that the OEM sized 15″ rims lost nothing in terms of handling, and were superior in terms of ride, price, damage resistance, comfort, etc.

      Buick is currently on 215/65/16 winters as opposed to the stock 235/45/18s. Rides much better and I don’t have to crazily dodge potholes.

      Its really, really simple. Start designing cars that look good on reasonable sized wheels again. Leave sensor dependant active suspensions off the mainstream cars. Seriously! If I am buying a Fusion, I don’t want to have to fix this system! At least I can get a rim straightened at any shop.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Wow, what a bunch of brown diesel wagon drivers here.

        Nevermind that the rotors on the Fusion Sport are probably bigger than the Alero’s wheels, we haz a sad cuz we want 14″ baloon tires like back in ’89 when all cars handled so great and had such wonderfully large brakes. Lower stopping distances? No, id rather have yesterday back! Dad’s Reliant stopped just fine back in my day! Lower death rates today? Hogwash! To hell with new, itll break and *I* will pay millions to fix it since it is required for the car to move! Down with new, back with old! Everything new SUCKS…unless its a toyota (because it probably was designed in 1998 anyway lol).

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          You need not chime in.

          Your 1988 Ford Taurus GL is the finest, most skillfully assembled, made of the finest quality components ever, sedan in the history of the world, guaranteed to run trouble-free (oil changes & brake pad changes only) for a minimum of 300,000 miles, and is the template upon which Toyota based its entire global manufacturing operations.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N,
          I think you’ll find most of these vehicles with large wheels with low profile tyres will accept a much smaller rim.

          You Taurus should be able to accept a 16″ rim.

          Even pickups with their large brake diameters can accept 17″ and in the case of a midsizer a 16″ rim.

          Performance orientated vehicles do have larger rotors/brake assy. But, again look at what you are buying. If you are concerned about potholes, then don’t go out and buy a vehicle with 40 Series rubber on it.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          True point about brake rotors sizes getting larger as well. I’m ok with the top o’ the line TTV6 model having bigger brakes and tires, but why does the SE have 19s?

          And I resent the diesel brown wagon BS. Wanting a more balanced tires size, balanced amounts of tech and more greenhouse glass hardly makes me a Jalop extremist.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            HEAR ME NOW:

            The best, most cost effective, and even comfort-improving solution to crumbling infrastructure (i.e. roads/potholes, assuming they won’t be fixed properly – they won’t) is to start going to 15″, 16″ and 17″ inch wheels (maybe even 14″ wheels on subcompacts), along with tires with 30% to 50% more sidewall.

            Going to electronic, sensor dependent, computerized, road reading suspensions to compensate for inherently brittle (as well as uncomfortable) 17″, 18″, 19″, 20″ etc., wheels with painted on tires is IDIOCY & will simply result in an ineffective solution that will be expensive to fix when it inevitably and often fails or otherwise malfunctions.

            ENOUGH OF THE LARGE WHEELS AND THIN SIDEWALL TIRES ON COMMUTER VEHICLES IDIOCY.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Stop making sense.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I know, right?

            RUBE GOLDBERG FTW!!!

        • 0 avatar
          MWolf

          Ok, so if you think the rubber bands are great, I’ll go right out and buy myself a sedan with low profile tires. I’m sure you’ll pay the hundreds for a new rim for me. Oh, those tires aren’t cheap, either.

          I don’t have a problem with “new” so much as I have a problem with “expensive to fix”. Which, if I wanted, I’d go buy some premium marque. Tires and the wheels they are on shouldn’t make anyone gasp when they are mentioned in the context of OEM and a brand like Ford or Chevy.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            I don’t have a problem with “new” so much as I have a problem with “doesn’t work better than what it replaced.”

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        Sorry, the industry can’t hear you over the 18 million vehicles they sold last year. people are buying these things as they are. the whining of a handful of Internet so-called enthusiasts doesn’t matter.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Good to see they’re going to use Computer Command Ride.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      If only customers wanted vehicles with moderately sized rims with tires that have a generous sidewall.

      While I suppose there are people who yearn for the good ol’ days of a 225/75R15 passenger car tire they are a rarity.

      At the other end of the spectrum the blatantly obvious “Floatymaster 5000 super sidewall speedster sedan (with super comfy damper option!)” would get absolutely vilified by the press even though its the car Americans want but magazine types detest thus convincing people who want a Floatymaster 5000 by dint of losing the bench race that they don’t want one.

    • 0 avatar

      If you want to see what is survivable and still performance, look at cop cars. 235-245 x 50-55 on an 18 inch wheel. Under a very heavy car driven to extremes by a guy who does not own it and has other priorities. I was quite happy to see my CTS has the same size tires as the local cop cars, and with a 50 series sidewall.

      Car and Driver did a great piece on how over 17 you don’t get much and 19 is just hard..using 16 17 18 19 on a GTi.

      If you get below a 50 series you are asking for it in the NYC metro area. All those lovely German cars with sport suspension are tuned for roads that in the US are only found in the South and Southwest. If you are ever lucky enough to drive in Germany, the roads really are both perfectly paved and perfectly crowned. There isn’t any of the change of levels we get here, let alone an actual hole in the road. This is the road the Germans expect to see under the “sport suspension”. The rest of us need some sidewall. If the pothole is deeper than your sidewall, guess what gets hit next.

      Best extended warranty ever…family member gets a new 5 series, lives in Manhattan. $1800 for unlimited tires over three years. Since the rim/tire combo is over 1k, and they’ve blown three (complete with RFT tires), they are well ahead of the game. Never mind the tires are just wrong for the 3-d roads of NYC.

      I was at my wheelsmith. He was working on some 20 something tires with rubber band rim protectors. They were bent like the outside loop of a roller coaster. He just smiled and said ‘people love these rims’ as he banged them back round.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Would that allow the system to “pack up” if there is a series of potholes. Sport bikes and dirt bikes have rebound damping that controls recoil. if too stiff the suspension will start to squat. Conversely too stiff a suspension will transfer too much force into the vehicle.

    This may be great for saving those 20 and 22 inch rims but will it really work as delivered?

    Once again engineers are forced to come up with something to compensate for style.

    • 0 avatar

      I left it out of an earlier draft, but one advantage to this system is that it helps prevent the suspension from reaching its travel limits. My guess is that a fully stiffened shock is less jarring than hitting the bump stops. The shocks are made stiffer, not locked out like you can do on my Rock Shox Ruby road fork.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Ronnie Schreiber – This system is just sensor controlled variable damping. I’m sure that it has been well tested but like any of these systems, they have their limits. I’d worry about a washboard road and the system getting progressively stiffer due to the frequent bumps.

        The shock “fully stiffened” may actually be just as bad as hitting the bump stops depending on what “fully stiffened” is.

        I got the impression that this worked more on rebound as opposed to compression.

        Is this “magnetic” damping which basically causes an increase or change in fluid viscosity or is this an electronic control of the shock’s damping orifices?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      If the pothole is big or long enough, the wheel has to drop in, and the stiffer setting will do more harm than good.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Prediction: This will work like a$$ in the real world, and probably will never see the light of day on a production vehicle for retail sale (just like that Bose suspension of years promoted past).

    This whole campaign and promotional video reminds me of some architect who comes with an amazing rendering that either can’t be built or would cost 30x to 100x the 2nd best, do-able option.

    PIE IN SKY.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It will be standard on the 2017 Fusion Sport.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      I think it will be more akin to the airbag suspension of Lincolns of yore. It will work well, but years down the road, you will need to pull the fuse when the sensors no longer work.

      I do have to hand it to my airbagged Lincoln – it was as old as I was and the sensors / electronics worked perfectly after I replaced the pump.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Fact is that it is in production and has been available on the MKZ and MKS. So sorry it is not pie in the sky.

    • 0 avatar
      NotFast

      Where’s the Ignore feature on TTAC comments? Article clearly states it’s already in use by Lincoln.

      At least Big Truck has *something* interesting things to say, unlike DeadWate the TrollBot.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I’ll make sure to create a massive splash-tsunami in your direction as I drive by your magical unicorn pothole skipping 2017 Ford Fusion Sport as you are changing a flat tire in the rain by the side of the road.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Deadweight,
          I do agree with you, this system will not be the best solution for the problem.

          A simple way to evaluate how well this will work is to look at off road vehicles.

          If this system was so great it would be in use off road. So how many SUVs use this system? Sweet fnck all.

          Of road vehicles rely on aspect ratio of tyre, dampening and wheel trave/articulation.

          If Ford really wanted to make vehicle more able to drive on these cratered US roads the simplest and cheapest method is to alter the suspension completely.

          This is only a band aid fix. The problem still remains of ineffective wheel/tyre, suspension tuning and inferior road surface.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            This does alter the suspension on the fly. This is a car that is intended to be used on roads so off road vehicle design is completely irrelevant like most of your comments.

            This system has already been around for a couple of years on Lincolns, it is only new to the Ford line and only on the Sport model. The only thing that is a real departure from the decades old variable dampening system is that it acts much faster and is tuned to sense pot hole type road irregularities.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Scoutdude,
            I never stated this system doesn’t affect the operation of the suspension.

            What it doesn’t do is actually alter the suspension enough to be a realistic solution in overcoming the obstacles, ie, potholes.

            Like I mentioned the best way to reduce the probability of damaging tyre/rim assemblies is to repair the road, ie, pay more taxes. This is most likely unviable.

            The second best is to use tyre/rim assemblies with some wall height.

            The third is to change the suspesnion geometry to accommodate the deficient road surface, with side wall height.

            The cheapest and simplest way at the moment is to offer decent tyres, not low profile tyres.

            This suspension doesn’t change the problem. It’s a band aid solution, that will increase the cost of a vehicle, when for around the same price you can have tyre/rim combo’s to overcome much of the stress.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The reality is that you can’t prevent potholes in many areas due to the weather conditions. Yes you can rebuild the roads before they occur but tearing up the road and replacing it every couple of years just isn’t going to happen.

            So if you live in a part of our country that has actual winter weather potholes will occur.

            This is just an adaptation of decades old tech to deal with it a little better w/o compromising other things.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @BigAl – (dunno why I bother but …)

            Why isn’t it used off-road?

            Cost

            Simplicity

            Heat Dissipation

            K.I.S.S.

            There are way more variables off-road than for street applications.

            “If Ford really wanted to make vehicle more able to drive on these cratered US roads the simplest and cheapest method is to alter the suspension completely.”

            WOW

            Fiesta Raptor
            Focus Raptor
            Fusion Raptor
            C Max Raptor
            Taurus Raptor
            Mustang Raptor

            I’m good with that.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Oh Lois,
            You are a silly billy, forgot your medication today?

            Maybe a slightly less severe change is needed than Raptorising all of Ford’s vehicles.

            But, if the US road system is that poor, then maybe the US should look at some decent vehicles to use.

            Or better still the US can redesign their suspensions and wheel assemblies to actually be safer.

            Where is the NHTSA in this? How road deaths can be attributed to wheel/tyre failure?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Big Al – we were talking about assless chaps on another thread and all of a sudden you showed up.

            Damn………

            I LOVE KARMA

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          All the true believers already seem convinced this will a) actually work in the real world, in real world conditions, at real world speeds, b) be reliable, c) be durable.

          This isn’t magnetic ride, as gimmicky as that is (and it is).

          It’s literally a claim that there’s a new technology (computer sensor & electronics dependent) that will manifest itself into the ability of physical subcomponents to allow tires/wheels to skip over appreciably large potholes consistently and reliably on a daily basis in the real world.

          Good luck with that.

          Rainbows & skittles sh!tting unicorns FTW.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It’s been on vehicles for three years already. We’ll see, but it’s not as uncharted as you think it is.

            Magnetic ride isn’t gimmicky either.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Love you, bro, but I’ll bet you a real dinner at that pretty decent Royal Oak place you recommended this will not be a commercial or reliability success, and most likely, in addition to not having any significant impact (no pun), will be an expensive headache for owners (not just Ford ones, but any make that incorporates this).

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @DW what don’t you get about the fact that this is nothing new it has been on the market for a couple of years and was tested for years before that. If it was a problem then they wouldn’t be adding it to more vehicles, they would be silently dropping it.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I don’t want to call it a gimmick, because it works. I like how CCD equipped Lincolns ride, especially the Navigator. However, Ford is presenting it in a gimmicky way.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Deadweight,
            The guy is a Frod phan. So, if you read his scribes Ford appears to do little wrong.

            This is a gimmick. It will be an option, a value adding gimmick. Something the consumer doesn’t require.

            Like I stated this is not an engineering solution. How can it be?

            From the tarmac side, the surface is inferior and will most likely fail to meet it’s usable limits. If you damage a tyre/rim, go and see the responsible authority and ask them to pay for the repairs to your vehicle.

            From the vehicle side. The problem is too little tyre profile and limited suspension travel.

            So, as a consumer, I would expect logic in the selection of what is the best possible solution to driving on your roads.

            Really, if you need to move 20tons at a time you don’t buy a p!ssy little half ton pickup to do the job then complain it breaks.

            Form, fit and function. Don’t buy something knowing there is a good chance it will break.

            Or, do as I’m going to do. Go out and buy different wheel tyre assemblies to suit the particular activity you expect from your vehicle.

            So, have a set of low profile tyres in the garage for when you want to go out for a hoon in the mountains, and a set of high profile tyres for the daily grind.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It’s not an option. It’s standard on a number of Lincolns already. It will be standard on certain Ford models.

            We’ll see if the CCD systems fail in another five years or so, but there hasn’t been issues with the current vehicles that have this feature.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            So it was to improve ride quality on Lincoln vehicles, but is “Peter Pan” pothole hopping technology on Ford Fusions.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Right. It’s a dumb $hit marketing stunt on something that is old hat. Ford loves themselves some marketing.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            bball,
            Ford has been known to push “incorrect” hype regarding certain features of vehicles and the gains to be made by them.

            Just look at the aluminium F-150, all the hype in relation to FE gains. In real life the gains were only 1mpg, with a similar engine.

            So, Ford being Ford just changed the FE advantage to load and tow, without stating the ride quality is also now diminished.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            I am spot on the epa mileage on my 2015 F150 so I don’t see what all the complaining is. Crew Cab, 2.7. On average I am 3mpg better than the Frontier it replaced. I was beating epa but have fallen off a bit as I have been enjoying more boost than eco of late. It is a great truck though.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Don’t buy something knowing there is a good chance it will break.”

            UMMM

            Can I quote you on that?

  • avatar
    zip89105

    12 more check engine light reasons to see the dealer more often, but if it actually works I’d love to have it if the system is reliable. I’d like to see a trend back towards 17″ and 16″ and 15″ wheels & tires with some sidewalls.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      why would this system cause a check engine light?

      • 0 avatar
        zip89105

        If one of the 12 sensors fails then some dash light is going to happen. Since it’s new for 2017 there is no telling how Ford will choose to report the problem on the dash.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          It was new in 2012 on the 2013 MKS and MKT.

          • 0 avatar
            zip89105

            Well apparently Ford didn’t market it well or it might have been headline news back then, and maybe it was, but it sounds like big news today. But Lincoln has been doing poorly for years and Ford stupidly naming their vehicles MKA, MKB, MKC, MKD, etc., hasn’t helped the issue, thus no recognition of the feature.

            We all know what an Navigator, Mark VIII, or Town Car is or was, but I couldn’t tell you what an MK? anything is.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Geez, that’s easy if you give it even the slightest bit of effort, especially since there were only 4 models to begin with.

            MK itself is an obvious callback to the Mark series.
            MKZ came from Zephyr.
            MKX is for crossover (X-over).
            MKT is for Touring or Town Car, which it was meant to replace.
            MKS…well, I suppose it could mean Sedan, which is kind of a cop-out, but it’s easy to remember since all the other names have been covered.
            MKC is Compact.

            With that said, I’m still glad that they’re going back to Continental, Aviator, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          It doesn’t say that it uses 12 unique sensors just that it reads data from 12 sensors. So I’m betting at least a few of them are sensors that are used by other systems.

          Yeah there is telling how it will be reported on the dash for a couple of reasons. #1 the CEL is for things that could cause excess emissions so it won’t turn on the CEL. #2 This system has been used on Lincolns for several years so chances are that it will turn on a light that says the same thing as it has on Lincolns. Probably something like suspension, CCD, or adaptive suspension.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          I still want to know why you think it would cause a check engine light.

  • avatar
    rjg

    As I understand it, this system will only be available on the fusion sport in the US. Kudos to ford, though, for continuing to make premium features available at a mass market price. Take a look a Honda or Toyota option list and prepared to be depressed.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It’s on the MKZ and MKS as well. It will end up on a lot of vehicles eventually.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        It has been standard on the MKZ since the 2014 MY. It is also already on the MKS.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          since ’13 on the MKS.
          Give up trying to discuss with these knuckleheads.
          Their rabid anti Ford, GOP and all around negativity is like typing masturbation.

          The street construction is, IMO, a result of the corrupt political system. The DOTs give out contracts and never hold poor construction work against their winners/election supporters.
          The constant use of horrid asphalt instead on good concrete is first…then the cheep repair work is a way they keep the money changing hands and street repairs going.
          Its all about the money and jobs…never the road quality.

          The more crooks runnig the state, the worse the roads. You can always tell when you leave dirt bag Illinois and cross over into another state.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      What option list? They just tell you to go up to the next trim level :)

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    This technology is WAY more useful/beneficial than so many of the latest safety advances being stuffed into cars today (cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, collision warnings, etc.). Let’s face it, the chances of encountering a pothole on any given drive: 100%.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Disagree. Potholes eat wheels and tires occasionally. The idiot behaviors which those nannies reduce eat entire cars.

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      About 33,000 people die in auto accidents every year in the US, or roughly 10x as many people as died on 9/11. Human error is a primary cause in over 95% of those accidents. The human error reducing technologies you whine about are highly beneficial. One of them might save the life of someone in your family.

      I’m not saying Ford’s pothole tech isn’t useful, but rather am calling you out on the notion that accident reduction technology is something to be sneezed at.

  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    “we seem to prefer to fix roads rather than build them to last”

    Ronnie I am curious, how do you make a road built to last? Maintenance on a wear item is part of the deal isn’t it?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Rome figured out a way to do it but weight was less of a factor for them.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      On freeways, we need to have shorter joint spacing, deeper road beds, better aggregate, and a two layer two layer construction. There is a test section of this in Detroit, and the 2 mile section has worn much better than the pavement around it.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        where is that?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          75 between 375 and I-94. It was poured in the early-mid 90s. Northbound lanes.

          https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/concrete/hpcp/hpcp20.cfm

          Estimated lifecycle costs have said it isn’t worth the expense though. It cost more than double the normal method.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Double than “normal” cost but lasts twice as long? Can’t have that, you’re cutting into “normal” replacement labor at the ten year mark.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Right. Costs should also come down as we use that method more.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Not if Vinny and Tony have anything to say about it.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Or if Hans and Franz have some patent on it…

            My dad worked for a concrete company owned by a guy named Jimmy Nardone when I was a kid. He was born as “Giacomo” in the old country. Not a man to be trifled with.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Maybe I’m just bigoted, but when I see a company with a really Italian name, I think that they aren’t on the level. Especially when they’re a garbage company, because isn’t being in the garbage business a classic Mafia front?

            So let’s just say I’ve always been suspicious of the local sanitation outfit, J.P. Mascaro…

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Double than “normal” cost but lasts twice as long?”

            he said MORE than double the cost.

            lrn2werdz

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            234% more.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            I’ve always heard the concrete industry around here is controlled by the mafia.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      They used to build roads to last. Thanks Obama.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Road wear is disproportionately produced by semis hauling trailers. Some of it is produced by the salt that is used in many areas to deal with snow.

      The basic solution: Make the roads thicker. The German autobahnen are thicker than a US interstate, which makes the German road more expensive to build (since it has more cubic feet/meters of material) but requiring less maintenance.

      A longer-term solution: Adding more axles to truck trailers would distribute the weight over more tires, which would help the roads. Problem: We tend to tax and toll trailers by the axle count, which discourages anyone from making and using such trailers, so our tax policies should be changed accordingly.

      Not sure if there is an affordable, viable alternative to using salt. Salt has a lot of downsides, but highway departments like it because it’s cheap.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Michigan has experimented with the German way of building freeways and it was 234% more expensive and didn’t last 234% longer. I don’t know if companies would eventually be able to get the building cost down though. It’s certainly less of a PITA for drivers to have their commute interrupted by construction less often.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I don’t know whether or not there are savings on the whole, but the maintenance cost should go down if the roads are thicker, i.e. harder to break.

          In any case, we’re all subsidizing the trucking industry. The sooner that we figure that out and act accordingly, the better.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Pch101,
            Concrete roads, bridges and other infrastructure has a limited life.

            Concrete or more specifically reinforced concrete will not last due to the corrosion of the steel within.

            Pre-stressed concrete, like that is quite popular in bridge construction has a much shorter lifespan than normal reinforced concrete.

            If I remember I think pre-stressed structures are good for 50-60 years.

            Much of the US nation highway system is older than this now.

            The roads themselves are degradating due to age. How much will it cost to replace the US national highway system over the next 20 years?

            How many pre-stressed concrete structures are there on the US road system.

            A good road, even German autobahns which are 600mm thick in comparison to the US’es 300mm thick roads will not last.

            I did read an interesting article on the German autobahn network and the work required to replace and construct new highways. The German’s have placed a greater emphasis on their autobahns than the US has on it’s National Highway system.

            But, this cost lots of money.

            Maybe if the government stops subisidsing the US auto industry over $3 000 per vehicle, that money could be ploughed straight into road infrastructure.

            By the way, the German’s only subisidise it’s industry to the tune of $1 300 per vehicle. These are 2013 numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        We also have problems with erosion and ground movement leading to road failure.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    This is so un-necessary. Just be realistic, there is no reason you’d ever need a tire aspect ratio less than 60 for a regular street car and if you put the right tires on, the sidewalls stick out to protect the rims.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      nickoo,
      I do know the design of the modern tyre can allow reasonable ride comfort and handling.

      To enhance a vehicles handling without compromising it’s comfort to a great extent is done by having a stiffer side wall on one side and softer sidewall on the other.

      It is a pity roads are the way they are, but it will cost money to repair them or replace them.

      People whine and cry about paying taxes, so don’t foresee the quality of the US road system improving very much.

      Here’s an interesting link from my local newpaper, it has a look at the Oregon model for financing road infracstructure.

      The past week in Australia a debate has started up over ways to pay for road infrastructure.

      I’m a supporter of a user pays system for this. Why should someone who drives 5 000 a year pay the same in registrations, etc as someone who drives 10 times the distance.

      The easiest way is to tax fuel at realistic levels to have the money available to fund infrastructure projects and maintenance.

      http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/brisbane-traffic-the-future-of-payperdrive-to-build-new-transport-20160217-gmwvm4.html

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I guess it is true that you are not that far out of the norm as far as the IQ down under goes. That article swaps miles and kilometers as if they were equal which they are not.

        You say that you are a supporter of user pays and this pay by mile set up, while then turning around and saying the easiest way is to do a fuel tax, which is what they are trying to replace with this system. The per mile system is to increase revenue by charging those people who drive vehicles that get high MPG or use no gas at all.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Scoutdud,
          You know you guys sort whine and cry when you consider me politically incorrect and I don’t debate using a passive/aggresive technique.

          Just look at the sh!t comment you just made.

          You don’t have a fncking clue as to what I do and know.

          People like you are the reason the great country, my country of origin is going down the tubes.

          Selfish fncks. Losers. It’s all about you, isn’t it. Go fnck yourself.

          User pays is the best way to pay for infrastructure.

          What would the savings be in the US is it had decent transport infrastructure.

          How much money could then be diverted away from subsidising those inefficient industries?

          Infrastructure is crucial in what makes our modern nations competitive. Not industrial welfare.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            BAFO, you’ve been at a keyboard for decades now.

            Where’s all that Shakespeare?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            He’s more of a Christopher Marlowe fan… of course we all know what happened to Marlowe.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Here’s what I’m referring to complete with a photo of the artist as a young Ozzie:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I think it would be fun to demonstrate the theorem using computers, essentially its random key selection on a certain scale over time.

            I’m surprised you didn’t want to hear about what happened to Marlowe.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I like the monkey theory but I prefer Jack’s “Texas Edition Plaque” comment.

            Bored Millennial Troll Creation

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            sorry that I arrived late at this rodeo.

            BAFO actually makes some good points, but then goes on to contradict them.

            1) If what is bringing the USA down, (his words) is that everyone is selfishness. Then does that not mean that individualism is the problem and that a collective social solution would be the best response?
            2) If a social system is instituted then user pay which is like a flat tax would not be in society’s best interests. Rather road taxes should be implemented based on the old European systems. Higher licensing fees for vehicles based on their weight and power and even number of tires. That would place a greater burden on those who conspicuously consume. Big cars = big fees. Of course then those who wish to show of their wealth will all buy the biggest vehicles possible.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Arthur Dailey,
            I actually believe a combination of fuel tax and tyre tax is the best option.

            Fuel tax will target engine size and engine load over distnace. Tyres will be similar, except target load and distance.

            This will also impact EVs and hybrids. Remove the taxpayer concessions made available to EV, hybrid, CNG vehicles and use the taxation model I put forward to modify culture/habits.

            You could even remove tolls. Our government is talking about having a private/government partnership charging tolls etc.

            But, here in Australia, like the US something is needed to maintain current and develop future transport infrastructure.

            The way I see it is; lots of people love the idea of EVs, but who is going to pay for the infrastructure in charging? Who is going to pay for the “damage” they make to infrastructure?

            The damage has little to do with lowering our carbon footprint.

            Will this be subsidised at the expense of the taxpayer as well.

            The whole transport, energy model currently used in most countries is actually very similar.

            We need to make dramatic changes in how and what we do in order to maintain what we have.

            This means more money has to be made available so there isn’t potholes.

            Someone has to pay and we all realise this. But no one is willing to do their part, as always it’s not their problem, it’s someone’s else’s.

            In the end less congestion, safer roads will improve a nation economy and reduce other costs, ie, vehicle maintenance, fuel usage etc.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Big Al,
            Please don’t tax tires. If you tax tires, the poor won’t replace their bald tires, which will cause more accidents. We lose too many good people to car accidents as it is.

            I am fine with taxing mileage – you can do that through annual registrations and odometer checks if you like.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Some states already to tax new tire sales and some tax tire disposal, with most tire shops charging a disposal fee in states with or without such a tax.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            VoGo,
            I’m not talking a draconian tax.

            The problem is all of us require the use of the our road transport infrastructure on any given day, even if you ride a bike to work, or use the subway.

            The building you live in must of been moved to where you live, the food, etc at the store come via road infrastructure.

            Even the “poor” have a requirement for road infrastructure.

            I don’t think a huge amount of tax is required.

            Another one is to index tax increase with the CPI. This will gradually lift money available over a sustained period of time allowing for the adjustments to be made by society.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Why should someone with no kids pay for schools? There are some things that we as a society benefit from even if we don’t use them as much as we could. The road network is one of those things.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          From Oz…
          It seems taxing is something you love.

          Have you ever demanded accountability from other than big oil?
          Have we ever seen you bash corrupt government and waste?

          Tax…tax…tax. Every problem will go away if we just tax money for it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Trailer Trash,
            I’m not an advocate of taxation. But, I do realise that a country requires excellent infrastructure to be successful, or more competitive is a better way to put it.

            If you look at the US taxes are paid to farmers, corn and dairy come to mind straight up.

            The US auto industry received $3 000 in straight out handouts and subsidises in 2013. What is it now? How millions of vehicles are sold in the US?

            The money dumped into alternative energies to save the planet, when there are cheaper and better alternatives to explore.

            The public/civil service in general is inefficient.

            Look at the duplication of government institutions at all levels.

            Like Australia the US complains about people on welfare, taxes on fuel, taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, etc.

            There are plenty of ways to streamline government, but the will is needed to do this.

            The far right and far left are the worse to manage this.

            Again, like Australia the US really needs to modernise it’s taxation and rationalise all levels of government.

            Big corporations, need to be put into line and not put their hands out for easy money. How much of this really reaches the normal guy busting his ass? Not much.

            Unions need to pulled into line, with their selfish behaviour.

            The US has the most expensive medical system in the world, why? Because of lobby power and fear mongering by the industry. The US medical system is far from the best as well …… unless you have money.

            The farmers are the same. And yet no one looks outside of the US to witness that all is not lost if changes are made.

            There is plenty of changes that can be made, but the people must be willing to make those changes.

            Until then, if you need something fixed like road infrastructure the only way is to have more money. Someone must pay for this. It’s not the other guys problem, it’s a nations problem.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Trailer Trash,
            Another thing. It’s how tax is structured and what and how it targets.

            The more complex taxes are generally the hardest for business to circumvent. Others, even like income tax are easier, paying someone cash to do a job.

            Look at fuel tax. It is efficient and easy to manage.

            Business tax in the US is around 30%. So, if a gallon of gas was $2.00 the business is really only paying $1.40 after it is written as a loss and claimed back on tax.

            The normal Joe and Jane are still paying $2.00. So, just that alone gives business a great rebate, more than the tax collected on the fuel.

            So, the best model for a big corporation is to set up shop in a country to manufacture or provide a service with relatively high business tax and have an off shore “tax haven” with lower business tax and little in the way of business expenses to funnel you money into.

            This gives the business great tax refunds from the expensive part of the business and the lowest tax possible on the remainder.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            From Oz

            You can go on about taxation and subsidies.
            But this is not the issue I am gonna keep at.

            It is waste. You simply cannot keep coming back for more money when time after time the government itself releases internal reports of enormous waste. The millions alone on money here in the USA given out in error to fraudulent welfare recipients is sinful.
            The amount of lost money and wasteful spending is documented…enough that I could bury you in reports from this year alone. I keep the reports…and you would not be able to sleep reading about the waste.

            So…IF waste is NEVER addressed and officials KNOW spending is their way of life…you are asking for revolution.

            There is a reason an idiot like Trump is winning. People are so angry they will even allow for his revisions of his own history JUST because he is “speaking his mind”. And the winning by guy only shows how angry folks are.

            And this is all I have t say about more money for more problem solving. They have enough of people’s money.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        well…first

        people whine about paying taxes for road repairs. Yes…but then again if we didn’t whine about taxes for road improvement you would be upset we also whined about taxes for over payment on education. Bridges. Health inspection. Welfare fraud inspectors. Police.

        The list of taxes that can be increased is never ending and in fact what people are tired of is the waste.

        It is really more about waste. The taxation would be enough IF the waste was controlled. But I guess we can’t have this until we pay more taxes to increase waste control.

        Second. the rationale behind only toll pay for road use is the same that old people use for public education taxes. If they don’t have kids using schools…why should they pay school taxes?
        Just because understanding how civilization works requires some thinking.

        It is really more a matter of wasteful bureaucracies that never feel the pain of private industry.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          @ Trailer Trash…You make a valid point. Here in Canada we are taxed, at the gas pump supposedly to pay for road/bridge, and maintenance/ infrastructure. We also pay a tire scrap fee. A few years ago we were assessed a “health care” tax. There is also a huge tax on booze, and cigarettes. I think my license sticker is $120. Then of course we have the HST {harmonized sales tax}, 12 percent on just about everything, including vehicle insurance, and toilet paper . Income tax, property tax, land transfer tax .I probably missed some.

          People in Canada die, waiting for surgery. If you Doctor retires, its a long waiting list to secure a new one. You can wait up to five years for a decent Nursing Home. “Free Health Care” is a myth.

          The roads, and general infrastructure, is decaying, all they do, when pushed, is a patch job.

          Why ? you may ask ?…All of the taxes go into general revenue. Consequently, the bulk of the revenue goes into administration..Waste and corruption is rampant.

          No…. More taxes, or as they call them “revenue tools” are not the answer.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    “Simpsons did it!”

    I’ll take my LS400 with a suspension by Bose thank you very much!

    linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3gX2HwFf5I

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “Interestingly, it looks like Ford shot the video in one of their company parking lots in Dearborn, using the typical kind of damage that happens to asphalt roads due to Michigan’s repeated freeze-thaw cycles. ”

    Looks like the FMCC (Ford Motor Credit) parking lot off of Mercury Drive.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Many will complain about the roads and how the responsible authority should maintain a road to a certain standard, and they pay taxes and on and on.

    So, if the roads are so poor, why is taxpayer money subsidising so much more than road infrastructure? Things like those useless EVs and Hybrids, CNG, etc.

    The reality is the US voting public only have themselves to blame.

    People vote for those who they think will give them more than the other. Well it’s about time for our modern countries voters to realise the world doesn’t evolve around them.

    If you want your road repaired then pay more money in taxes to fix them so you can have your EVs, etc.

    Everyone wants to most, even at the expense of others and the nation.

    So, if you are buying a vehicle for a certain purpose don’t you think it’s your responsibility to assess the environment you vehicle is operating in?

    To the whiners and whingers out there, buy a vehicle with at least 65 Series tyres, or pay more taxes.

    One day some rocket scientist will invent a “self healing” road that can repair itself like skin. Until then live with it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Big Al from Oz –

      Thank you for saving us form the comb-over-in-chief and mizz-email.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      Big Al you assume more tax doaalers I’ll solve the problem , funnyi would have no problem paying more if I thought it would get me better roads, I pay over four hundred bucks a month in tolls to cross bridges intio NYC eac month and the bridges are still crap and NY has not built a new bridge in over forty years , more money alone is not the answer

      Edit should say I would have no problem being tax more if I thought it would help

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        seth1065,
        Even though there are more cars/vehicles on the roads, they are using less fuel. This equates to less tax per vehicle.

        The vehicles are still damaging the road infrastructure along with climatic causes. So, less tax money is there to repair and create new transport infrastructure.

        This doesn’t take into account the ever increasing number of EV/hybrids?CNG as well.

        Or the fuel tax subsidising bicycle tracks and pedestrian paths/bridges etc.

        There is less money now than in the past.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Frends}

    I see there in the above, the photo of the Ping-Ponk balls inside the blackened tar pit on the boulevardier (like the Tourism Attractive in Las.Angeles.!)

    And I say to myself, “Grango, you might have of the input for this time where you can help an American’s Citizen like a saviors of people, or just one person!” Ha ha.

    Here, is my recommend-

    Often time in my Country, when you are even inside the city circle, (oh, the highway looping) there are a large port hole like above with pic. Instead of drive around like one of a crazy housewife in NYC’s Manhattan District,.. maybe get a tire where the volume of sidewall is greater than strip of rubber-band-aid (lol!). Then, your auto won’t have such a boo-boo as before, you see?

    Anyway, if I examine a tire on the basic Sandero tomorrow, I can report back on to you the volume of tire tallness. I suspect it’s a good number. In your Country I know there are many car type which are only availing in the shape of the Crosstrek Utility Variant (i think you say c-u-v, also) and so will have similar size tyre.

    All the best -[

    Grango Relago

  • avatar
    VW16v

    Ford rebuilt the Bose suspension that will never be used.

  • avatar

    >>>damage to vehicles caused by potholes costs American drivers about $3 billion every year, and the average repair cost is about $300. TRIP says that potholes cause urban drivers each over $500 in damage on average each year.

    Sounds high to me. I live in a high pothole state–Massachusetts–and while I’m sure the potholes inflict some wear and tear, I haven’t had a pothole repair in the 16 years I’ve been here. That $500 in damage each year seems way too much, especially given that at least 1/3 of the 323 million in the US live in what are probably low pothole states, places where there’s very little if any freeze-thaw cycle.

    Who is TRIP, anyway?

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      $500/driver seems high, but if it’s true, man, that would buy a lot of smooth pavement. But that would require taxes, which are evil, so let’s spend our money repairing our vehicles after they get beat up by our crappy roads.

      And that’s why we can’t have nice things.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        It’s kinda hard to keep up with all the road maintence needed, they won’t stop building new roads around us, so you have to either repair the old roads or let them go to make new ones. We shouldn’t have to pay for more and more roads when they would be better off fixing the old ones.
        This also brings us back to solid axles, there’s a whole lot less to worry about when the only negative effects of poor roads on your vehicle is the steering system and the shocks.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Actually Hummer,
          IFS and IRS are better and will maintain a vehicle attitude/stability better than a live axle.

          Hmmm ……. why upset two wheels on an axle when you only require one???

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        That has to be it, milk the tax donkeys for a little more. Arghhhh but then there are those nasty facts which lurk out there on dem internets.

        “For an urban two-lane road in 2013, the study estimates warm-mix asphalt paving costs at $852,238 per two-lane mile compared to $878,513 per two-lane mile for a hot-mix asphalt roadway – or a savings of $26,000.

        Even with this improvement in asphalt paving process, a concrete road was cheaper – requiring only $769,269 per two-lane mile, or roughly $83,000 dollars cheaper than the lowest cost asphalt paving process.”

        http://www.cement.org/think-harder-concrete-/blog/think-harder-blog/2014/08/19/road-building-costs-warm-mixed-asphalt-vs.-concrete

        So let’s call the $878K asphalt road, 900, for the sake of math. So 900,000 per mile of two lane road in 2013 dollars. Per mile. $900,000.

        Why?

        “Oil prices are falling but don’t lower your development budgets just yet. Despite the cost of crude, other factors are pushing up the cost of asphalt locally and will have an impact on development costs moving forward. We interviewed local contractors to figure out why this is happening and provide some recommendations to help mitigate the impacts.”

        “There has been significant consolidation with local material suppliers. Some recent acquisitions include the purchase of Mesa Materials by Vulcan in August of last year. In addition, Vulcan materials is in the process of taking over operations of the local Cemex asphalt plants. Consolidation has resulted in less competition. Recent letters from one supplier forecast increases in asphalt from $5-8 per ton by end of first quarter 2015. In addition to that, a $3 per load environmental fee is also proposed effective March 1, 2015. All of the paving contractors polled for this article anticipate that AC price will either remain level or increase over the next 3-6 months. Not one anticipated a material price decline.”

        http://www.sandboxdevelopment.com/cost-of-paving-holds-as-price-of-crude-falls/

        I’m not even going to take into account labor wage adjustments vs actual cost estimates.

        “As described above, the Davis–Bacon Act requires contractors to pay a prevailing wage as predetermined by the WHD. One stated purpose of this is to prevent a “race to the bottom” in which employers may use migrant and other low-skill, unemployed workers to perform the work at low costs. If such a possibility exists in an otherwise free market, then Davis-Bacon requirements artificially inflate labor costs above market levels. In addition, companies that participate in federal construction jobs are required to collect data and report regularly. This adds to overhead costs. As a result of these cost increases, projects of a given scope cost more than they would otherwise, or that projects of a given budget must be constrained in scope, or some combination of both.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davis%E2%80%93Bacon_Act

        So is it the proles just aren’t paying enough tribute or are the road costs vs longevity simply too high for various reasons?

        Think about it.

        BONUS

        LABOR RATES (Davis-Bacon + payroll loading + 10 percent OH + 6 percent profit)

        General Laborer $41.32 $43.99 $47.26 $36.27 $39.83 $41.96
        Driller, Air Track $49.64 $52.49 $51.91 $42.26 $46.35 $48.80
        Sawyer $46.13 $49.14 $52.22 $42.98 $47.15 $49.66
        Powderman $45.67 $48.53 $54.77 $43.90 $47.98 $50.43
        Tractor Operator (to D6 or equiv) $47.13 $49.79 $49.58 $42.82 $46.38 $48.51
        Tractor Operator (D6 or larger) $48.08 $50.74 $49.58 $44.04 $47.60 $49.74
        Grader Operator $48.08 $50.74 $49.58 $42.82 $46.38 $48.51
        Loader Operator (4 cy and less) $47.35 $50.01 $49.13 $42.82 $46.38 $48.51
        Loader Operator (over 4 cy) $48.08 $50.74 $49.58 $44.04 $47.60 $49.74
        Backhoe Operator (under 3 cy) $47.72 $50.38 $49.35 $42.82 $46.38 $48.51
        Shovel/Hyd Excavator $48.08 $50.74 $49.58 $44.04 $47.60 $49.74
        Lowboy/Semi-Tractor (under 50 ton) $43.61 $46.27 $48.09 $42.85 $46.41 $48.55
        Dump Truck Driver (12 cy and less) $43.24 $45.90 $47.85 $42.85 $46.41 $48.55
        Dump Truck Driver (over 12 cy) $43.38 $46.04 $48.09 $42.85 $46.41 $48.55
        Skidder Cat Operator $51.56 $54.57 $54.56 $48.57 $52.74 $55.25
        Rubber Tired Skidder $51.80 $54.81 $54.30 $48.57 $52.74 $55.25
        Log Loader Operator $52.62 $55.63 $54.56 $50.01 $54.18 $56.68

        http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5279284.pdf

        So a dump truck driver costs $43.24 per hour in Area 1, Zone 1, of Idaho (which of course is a very high cost of living state).

        Nice gig if your can steal, I mean swing, it.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          28-Cars-Later,
          Somehow I don’t think this “gig” is as good as you are stating.

          The hourly labour rates charged is not what the person receives.

          So, how much do the office workers get paid, management, etc.

          Health insurance, 401k???

          How much does it cost for the mechanics and maintainers of the equipment and plant and buildings, etc.

          You’ll find your comment is an over simplification of what goes.

          I think you’ll find these must be factored in.

          Life isn’t never as simple as you would like.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            If you read the link, those are wage rates and are not inclusive of equipment because the previous section “Equipment Rates” displays you guessed it, equipment rates. Now whether those wage rates take pension or 401K into account I do not know but even if the final rate paid to the worker is $28-30/hr its certainly not bad for a dumptruck operator in low cost Idaho. Wikipedia explains the Davis-Bacon Act artificially increases wage costs above market levels in some cases, which contributes to $43/hr dumptruck operators and $900K/mile road replacement costs which was my original point.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          High wages for other people. The scourge of Obamacare!

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      That figure sounds positively insane, there’s no way the average of every single urban driver comes out to $500 per person in pothole related repairs every year. On your average family sedan that would be the cost of replacing every single tire on it with high quality tires and I don’t know of a single person who’s ever had to replace every single tire every year.
      I really have to wonder how they’re coming up with this crazy figure. Even taking into account suspension wear and tear it’s still a pretty questionable number-I had to change out my struts and strut towers after driving over some particularly horrifying roads in the rust belt because some idiots decided to half-construct a road in town that everyone had to drive over (i.e. they tore up a main road but didn’t actually put the new one in for a year) and even then it ended up costing me $300 to replace the front suspension and I know damned well your average person isn’t replacing their struts on an annual basis.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    “Honda and Toyota do not offer this feature”

    And the consequence of their neglecting our safety and comfort is *one* partially dinged Ping-Ponk ball?

    Big whoop. I expected at least the middle ones to be flattened.

  • avatar
    ihbase

    Meanwhile, FoMoCo hires consultant to verify life outside the company and to inform about this notion of people traveling from place to place:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/business/the-commute-of-the-future-ford-is-working-on-it.html?ref=automobiles

    Way to go Ford innovation! How about adding direct injection to the GT-350 and improving Mustang build quality so the rear window and panel gaps are close to consistent…

    -Mike

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      why do you think the GT350 needs direct injection?

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        No kidding. Of all the things to have a problem with, the 5.2L Voodoo V8 shouldn’t be one of them.

      • 0 avatar
        ihbase

        For the same reason I believe Ford spec’d the live axle for an extra 2-3 decades. Like independent rear suspension in this application, direct injection is a superior technology that Ford declined to incorporate for cost reasons. I suspect that you are going to raise two valid points: The 5.2 makes good numbers without direct injection; and CBU.

        If so, I’ll concede both points to you. But if you own any Ford products and if you are not a fan boy, you never really get over the dissatisfaction of rampant cost-cutting, de-contenting, and poor build quality.

        The new aluminum pickup body components may be an exception to past practice. It is an impressive step. But the article I linked above suggests that, like most large organizations, FoMoCo continues to battle its own elements of corporate obsolescence and absurdity.

        -Mike

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          everybody in this f**king industry not named “Rolls-Royce” is under cost constraints. Why should Ford be compelled to add the cost of DI to a car which doesn’t need it just so they can please some Internet Car Guy who won’t buy one anyway?

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Direct injecting naturally aspirated V8s adds needless complexity and expense for negligible improvements.

          IRS isn’t superior for all aspects of high performance use either. Keeping the live axle ‘alive’ wasn’t strictly a cost cutting measure, like Top Gear would have you believe.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    Ahhh yes, technology to protect a car’s oversized wheels and thin tires. Does this technology do anything to migrate the thin tire’s harsher ride?

    Perhaps the auto industry should satisfy their designer’s lust for no-sidewalled tires and simply adopt the Tweel ?

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Just thinking about where this could go. It could be enhanced to pre-jump really big holes. Or even pre-jump the whole car. Or lower them to nullify bumps. At any rate, it would allow making suspension components etc. flimsier/lighter, making the cars lighter and more efficient.

    It could make even very small cars ride like limousines. With active noise cancellation, small cars would be even closer to luxury cars.

    Off-roading could be as serene as on pavement. Road maintenance and construction could be done to a far lower and cheaper standard.

    • 0 avatar
      rodface

      The prototype suspension developed by Bose some time back could do just that (leapfrog obstacles). I’m having visions of driving like I’m Speed Racer in the Mach Five…

  • avatar
    Driver7

    I agree with those who prefer (reasonably) smaller tires and wider sidewalls.
    We all may be in for a things-you-can’t-unsee shock if automakers adopt this Michelin airless tire – the “Tweel.”
    http://www.autoevolution.com/news/reinventing-the-wheel-a-guide-to-michelins-airless-tire-19937.html#ixzz40fDi6PAw
    Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Could we please just fix/rebuild the roads “right”? Not just throw down some new pavement that looks like swiss cheese 2 years later and then pay guys to poorly “fix” the potholes.

    It can be done.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      no, because the instant you say the word “tax” people get out the knives and pitchforks.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Right, Americans quickly forget that Eisenhower didn’t start the Interstate Highway System with tax rates that are as low as they are today.

        • 0 avatar
          JD23

          You need to look beyond the top marginal income tax rates: Federal tax revenue as a percent of GDP was nearly the same during the 1950s as it is today. However, the welfare state did not exist in its current form, leaving a larger portion of the budget available for discretionary spending.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    See http://bridgemi.com/2014/04/why-are-germanys-roads-better-or-are-they/
    …yes it’s possible to do it better, no Americans probably won’t pony up to do that, especially when there’s so much USA to pave.

    So don’t just spec tires with taller or stiffer sidewalls. Build suspensions with several inches more wheel travel. Is time for vintage Soviet domestic market suspension solutions, comrade. Study Lada Niva, Volga GAZ 21, 1984 Skoda Rapid…

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    So is this approach basically a Flash Boys take on the old Citroen tire-change thingy where your car for a split-second becomes 3-wheeled with the 4th one prevented through shock stiffening from dropping all the way down into the hole?

    I’d still be more impressed if the conventional suspension flattened more Ping-Ponk balls. As it is, pretty lame payback for all the gratuitous tech involved. I’d rather go tundra tire.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Having a suspension system which responds to what is coming instead of just dealing with what happens real time is very cool. I wonder if anyone is incorporating topology information from GPS receivers into the behavior of cruise control, transmission shifting, braking and other systems. Traditional automotive systems are closed loop affairs always adjusting to what just happened through feedback loops. Now that vehicles have sensors about what is coming up, the game can change.

    For example, an automatic transmission downshifting to maintain cruise speed just before a vehicle crests a hill top is wasteful. It is much better to bleed off 1-2 mph if you know that a downhill stretch starts in 20 seconds, but traditional cruise-control + automatic transmissions wouldn’t know that.

  • avatar
    LD

    This is like when I test drove a 2015 GMC Yukon with the the base tire package 265/65-18 and it rode a little harder than the base 2014 tire package which was 265/70-17. Then I was encouraged by the salesman to test drive the the vehicle with the upgraded tire package 275/55-20 and it was definitely harder and one felt every bump. And then finally I test drove the granddaddy of them all, the GMC Yukon Denali with the 285/45-22 tire package with the GM magnetic ride suspension and all that the magnetic ride suspension did in my opinion is bring what would have been an extremely hard and jarring ride back down somewhere between the base (18 inch) and the mid level (20 inch) tire package.

    There is no substitute for rubber cushioning, comfortable and easy on maintenance.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Take away message……………….

    pick the right rubber

    you get a better ride than using mechanical substitutes!

    This is where we need Jack and his masculinity remarks… LOL

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