For many in the US, pothole-ridden roads are a bothersome nuisance. For others, they can pose a serious threat to both safety and personal finances; get particularly unlucky, and a pothole can seriously damage wheel rims and suspension components, possibly to the point of causing an accident.
But according to Autoblog, a recent Google patent filing seeks to address the issue – at least in part. The idea is quite simple; use data gathered by each a GPS unit and a vertical-motion sensor to populate a map of roads known to have poor surfacing quality. That map would draw upon a vast fleet of participating vehicles, and it would update continuously to maintain up-to-date information.
This Google patent was just filed on the 18th of August, meaning that it’s not likely to become a reality in the immediate future – if at all. But if the simplicity and practicality of the recent Google patent are any indication, this is one innovation with a high likelihood of eventually reaching consumers. The constantly-updating map generated by system users could conceivably help future satellite navigation systems in selecting routes which lessen or altogether avoid problematic pavement, sparing users many a headache in the process.