Information about potholes and speed bumps are sent to Mercedes-Benz cloud in real time via the mobile phone network.
Mercedes-Benz first introduced its Car-to-X Communication service in 2016 – initially on the E-Class, with it now being available across all models – and has now added additional Car-to-X functions to further improve safety, particularly in the context of large potholes.
Large potholes are a safety hazard, because if drivers do not recognise them on time, they cannot take evasive action or reduce their speed. There is also a risk of damage to tyres and the suspension system. In a worst-case scenario, it can also lead to accidents.
New-gen C-Class, S-Class and EQS can detect large potholes and speed bumps.
New Car-to-X functions developed completely in-house
Prerequisites include Mercedes Me account, activation and online availability of the Car-to-X service
Mercedes-Benz Car-to-X functions: how does it work?
With the new C-Class, S-Class and EQS being able to detect potholes and speed bumps, when the chassis control unit registers such an event, the ‘Car-to-X Communication’ service is activated, and the information is sent to the Mercedes-Benz Cloud in real time via the mobile phone network, together with positional data.
Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in the vicinity are informed, and the events are displayed with icons on the navigation map. About 10 seconds before the relevant lane section is reached, an audible warning is given and the icon is visually highlighted.
Prerequisites are a Mercedes Me account as well as activation and online availability of the Car-to-X Communication service. In the new C-Class, S-Class and EQS, the audible warning says ‘Look out, pothole!’ or ‘Attention, speed bump’. The new alerts are now available in select markets worldwide, and in all 36 languages recognised by the infotainment system.
New Mercedes Car-to-X functions developed in-house
Mercedes-Benz developed the new Car-to-X functions completely in-house. The new pothole detection system was tested at the Immendingen Test and Technology Centre (PTZ), among other locations. More than 30 different test and trial tracks are available there and are spread over an area of 520 hectares, including what are known as comfort tracks with bumps and potholes of all kinds.
The new-gen C-Class, S-Class and EQS models can detect potholes when a certain threshold value is reached during sudden suspension compression and rebound, and this also occurs at the rear axle after the front axle with a certain time delay. A similar algorithm is used to detect speed bumps as well.
Another Car-to-X function from Mercedes-Benz uses the information from Crosswind Assist: If this assistance system becomes active in the event of a strong crosswind, and supports the driver with targeted braking or steering interventions, the Mercedes-Benz Cloud is also notified. Drivers following behind can therefore be specifically warned of gusts.
Because the sensors of other cars are also used, the Car-to-X technology significantly expands the coverage of the vehicle's own sensor technology, for instance the radar or camera systems. The Car-to-X technology allows a look around the corner, so to speak.
Mercedes-Benz passenger cars produced from 2016 onwards can receive the warning information. In total, that's over three million vehicles worldwide.