Having introduced car-to-X communication functionality to its cars in 2016, Mercedes-Benz has now expanded the information system’s capability to include the detection of potholes and speed bumps ahead of time in order for the driver to manoeuvre or slow down accordingly for the road hazard.

The function is enabled through the chassis control systems in the latest W206-generation C-Class, W223 S-Class as well as the fully electric EQS.

As with other data communicated through the automaker’s car-to-X system, information is sent to the Mercedes-Benz Cloud in real time through a mobile phone network, along with location data. Any Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles on the network are informed, and around 10 seconds before the vehicle arrives at the affected section of road, its driver will receive an audible warning an a visually highlighted icon.

In addition to potholes and speed bumps, events detected and sent as warnings through the Mercedes-Benz Car-to-X communication system include broken down vehicles, accident sites, activation of hazard lights, risk of skidding, heavy rain and fog, temporary road works, heavy braking, general hazards and crosswinds.

The Car-to-X systems were developed fully in-house by Mercedes-Benz, and the new pothole detection system was tested at the Immendingen Test and Technology Centre (PTZ) as well as at other test locations. The facility at Immendingen is comprised of more than 30 different test and trial tracks over an area of 520 hectares, including ‘comfort tracks’ which feature a variety of bumps and potholes.

To use the Car-to-X service, the user of the compatible Mercedes-Benz passenger car needs to have a Mercedes me connect account with the service activated. Then, data is registered in the vehicle, and vehicle-related Car-to-X data is sent to the system backend where it is anonymised.

This service is available free of charge for the first three years, after which it can be renewed for a fee, according to Mercedes-Benz. The service can be activated or deactivated through the user account on the Mercedes me portal, or on the Mercedes me mobile app.

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