|staycomp (United Kingdom)|
Automatic pothole reporting
These days high end cars have GPS, dashcams/reversing cameras and SIM cards (cellular connectivity). (In the UK at least) there are websites where you can report pothole locations, so that the authorities can direct their road repair teams.
Now, with nothing more than a sensor on the car's suspension and some control module, the car should be able to detect when it hits a pothole. When this happens, the GPS location is noted, a suitable still frame from the dashcam or reversing camera video feed is retrieved, this gets overlaid with a mark indicating where the pothole should be seen (calculated from the camera angle, car speed, distance traveled and steering angle). Also, the car's compass bearing is recorded. All of this gets submitted to the appropriate pothole reporting website.
Perhaps, to avoid overwhelming the local authority's websites, each motor manufacturer should collate the reports, and only submit to the website when a certain number of hits are reported.
While this has merit in all vehicles, it may be more desirable in self-driving cars where the driver is less likely to pay attention to the exact location of the pothole.
Reward: As this idea is unlikely to make money for motor manufacturers, it would be somewhat cheeky to ask for the first car fitted with such a system. So, just be generous!