Mercedes’ communication service deals with the pitfalls of potholes and speed bumps


A study conducted in the US revealed that one third of fatal traffic accidents are to be blamed partially on poor road conditions. Potholes in particular can cause severe injury and costly repairs on car parts such as wheels, rims, suspension and steering.

Selected Mercedes-Benz models now feature a new enhancement on the brand’s V2X communication system that forewarns the driver of potholes and speed bumps and relays the information through the cloud service to other Mercedes drivers in the area.

But how does it work ? Basically, the car registers a sudden suspension impact on the front and rear wheelsets and refers to algorithms to establish whether or not it is classified as a pothole or sharp bump. In the former case, the exact location where the impact happened is shared in real time with Mercedes cars in the area through the cloud service, provided their V2X communication system is activated and the car owner has a Mercedes me account. The new C-Class and S-Class models and the EQS have visual alerts on their satnav as well as the audible ones “Look out, pothole!” or “Attention, speed bump”.

The system has its flaws though: currently only the afore mentioned three new models can generate warnings, therefore anyone driving another or older model of the German car maker will not receive alerts if none of the newer models are in the vicinity. A next step in the V2X concept could consist of forwarding the information to government instances who can take action to repair the road surface defect.