The Ford Motor Company has created a new road that comprises replicas of some of the worst potholes and road hazards worldwide.
The new 1.2-mile road is part of 50 miles of test tracks at the company’s test facility in Lommel, Belgium.
Ford’s latest creation will help engineers create chassis systems and develop new innovations to ensure its vehicles can better withstand damaged roads.
Incorporating potholes from Europe and the US, the road simulates more than 100 hazards from 25 countries worldwide.
Ford Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium durability technical specialist Eric-Jan Scharlee said: “By incorporating these real-world challenges into our test facilities, we can develop future vehicles to better cope with challenging conditions.”
Engineers at the Belgium facility employ equipment, which is similar to the one used by seismologists studying earthquakes, and drive through potholes at speeds of up to 46mph.
Sensors are used to record the loads and strains to the suspension and components.
Ford has also developed a new computer-controlled shock absorber system for the new Fusion V6 Sport vehicle with a smart new suspension system, which provides better handling while helping to protect the car from potholes.
A new study from AAA has found that pothole damage in the US has cost drivers $15bn in vehicle repairs over the last five years, which is about $3bn a year.