Lately I feel as though potholes have been occupying a significant amount of my time. I'm writing about them on the SeeClickFix blog, reading issues about them from our users around the world, and protecting my Subaru from them on the streets of New Haven. It is that last piece of my recent pothole obsession - my seemingly futile efforts at protecting my used and abused station wagon - that made me carefully read an article we found recently.
Autoblog.com featured a pothole-centric press release issued by Ford in Essex, England that made me envious of Ford owners. The release, a response to Chancellor George Osborne's recent announcement that an additional Â£100 million will be placed in to the UK's 'pothole fund', outlines the company's rigorous pothole testing techniques. The release explains:
Testing and development processes for chassis and suspension systems carried out by Ford engineers at Dunton Technical Centre - one of Europe's largest automotive R&D centres - and Lommel Proving Ground, Belgium mean that Ford vehicles are designed to cope with the most demanding road surfaces. Tests include running real-world road simulations, high-tech data acquisition and thousands of miles of surface testing.
I don't speak car fluently, but it all sounded impressive to me! Luckily, Autoblog.com put it in layman's terms for me.
The Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium goes as far as to include an inch-by-inch recreation of a notoriously porous English road. More abusive road surfaces are simulated at Ford's Dunton Proving Ground in Essex, England. Ford says that between the two test facilities, it tests every wheel and tire combination sold on its entire European vehicle portfolio.
It is great that automakers are committed to innovating new technologies that combat the damage potholes cause to cars. As for me, I'll continue to combat the potholes themselves by reporting them to be patched on SeeClickFix.com