Vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems already allow cars to warn one another of hazards such as accidents or road work. Mercedes-Benz is now building on the technology, providing alerts of speed bumps and potentially dangerous potholes.
The company has upgraded the Car-to-X vehicle communication system, which adds a useful feature to the new-gen Mercedes-Benz S-Class, C-Class, and EQS. The system enables these cars to automatically detect potholes, which will serve as a warning alert for other Mercedes-Benz vehicles in and around those areas. The system applies to Mercedes-Benz passenger cars built-in or after 2016.
The above-mentioned models have an updated system with algorithms that monitor sudden suspension compression and extension on the front and rear wheels. When a certain threshold is reached, the system decides the car just hit a pothole. The location is then sent through the car’s communication suite to the Mercedes-Benz Cloud service, which relays that to other Mercs in the area with the Car-to-X Communication system enabled.
For models before 2016, the warning will show up as a standard traffic event alert with an audible prompt. However, with new models, it will explicitly identify the issue as a pothole. Most Mercedes will take the form of “Traffic event ahead” vehicles, although it will be stated as “Look out, pothole” or “Attention, speed bump” in new C-Class, S-Class or EQS models.
The company has announced that the pothole/speed bump warning system is available in 36 languages recognized by the Car-to-X system worldwide. Although there are some limitations to the system’s effectiveness, it only provides warnings if at least one car already faced an issue. In addition, the system only communicates with other Mercedes vehicles.
The service also requires the vehicle owner to have a current Mercedes me account. The subscription is free for the first three years of possession; however, there is a fee afterwards.