(WJBK) - Potholes are impossible to avoid. So, Ford Motor Company decided not to avoid them. Instead, they're using smart technology to roll right over them.
"You want to prevent the wheel from falling into the hole, so that it kind of skips across the top," explains the suspension system engineer, Jason Michener.
Here's how it works. Sensors right at the tire determine when you hit a pothole. The system then reacts in the blink of an eye, sending a signal to the car to help absorb some of the impact.
"Technology has gotten to the point where we can get down to the millisecond and a pothole event is typically about 50 milliseconds in length," Michener says. "We need to detect that pothole in about 15 milliseconds in order to give the vehicle enough time to react."
It doesn't take away the entire "kick" of the pothole but it definitely makes it more manageable. The quick-thinking technology can help save you hundreds of dollars on tire, wheel, suspension and alignnment repairs.
"Not only does it prevent damage but it also just makes for a much more enjoyable driving experience. Speaking from experience of driving over thousands of potholes, it's definitely better with the technology," Michener says.
On these Michigan roads, we'll take all the help we can get.
The technology currently exists in all Lincoln models and the 2017 Fusion Sport. You can read more about the technology here.