2017 Ford Fusion

The United States is home to many notoriously ill-maintained roadways. According to the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, the annual investment necessary by all levels of government to adequately maintain our nation's highways, roadways and bridges is estimated at $185 billion per year for at least the next 50 years. Yet, the country invests at last count just $68 billion to fix potholes and make repairs. All this is to say drivers can expect to meet potholes, cement cracks and other bad road conditions every day they get behind the wheel. But now, with new technology introduced in the 2017 Ford Fusion, navigating such nasty situations may be easier than ever.

Ford Fusion Softens Bumps with High Tech Shock Absorbers

Ford engineers have unveiled an advanced computer-controlled shock absorber that acts as a pothole mitigation tool in the latest model of the Ford Fusion. The idea is to make potholes less jarring to occupants and less harmful to the vehicle itself -- an aspect that often gets missed by drivers. While a standard car with properly inflated tires should be able to handle small to mid-sized potholes fairly well, things can get expensive the larger the hole and the faster the car.

"It really depends on the depth of the pothole, your speed and the air pressure in your tires," says Sean Cooney-Mann, store manager for a tire shop. "You get people who aren't even aware they've hit anything and then we get the vehicle up on the hoist and see the damage. It could require a $99 alignment, but I've seen it escalate to $3,000-$4,500."

How Pothole Mitigating Technology Works in the 2017 Ford Fusion

"The new 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport substantially reduces the harsh impact potholes often deliver," Ford engineering expert Jason Michener said in a release. "Our new pothole mitigation technology works by actually detecting potholes and 'catching' the car's wheel before it has a chance to drop all the way into the pothole."

This is completed thanks in part to sensors installed in front of the vehicle's wheels. When those sensors 'read' an impending pothole, they immediately translate a message to the shock absorbing system to prepare the vehicle for an impact. The shocks in front then relay the same message to those in the rear.

Taking Tech into the Real World

While the system undoubtedly passed many internal Ford testing, a journalist for Spokane's Fox 28 created an interesting test to see how the pothole mitigating system worked as a driver. The journalist found a significant-sized pothole and placed a can of Spam in it. He then drove over it with a 2017 Ford Fusion at about 25 mph to test whether or not the shocks would prevent the wheels from crushing it. The can survived. (It did not survive the same test with a vehicle lacking the pothole mitigation technology).

Are you looking to purchase your next vehicle? Want to see the 2017 Ford Fusion and its technology in action for yourself? Visit Ford Country today to check out this model and other excellent new and pre-owned Ford vehicles.