STUTTGART, Sept 3 — Mercedes is bringing a new pothole alert function to its “Car-to-X” communication system. This service allows drivers with a “Mercedes me” account to receive real-time warnings about potential dangers on the road, both via icons on their navigation system and audio alerts.

As every driver knows, potholes are a real safety hazard that can cause damage to a vehicle’s tires or suspension. As a result, Mercedes has decided to start flagging up potholes to its customers.

If the chassis control unit of one of the carmaker’s latest models registers a behaviour corresponding to the passage over a pothole, the information is immediately sent to the Mercedes-Benz Cloud via the cell phone network, and with the precise geographical coordinates of the location of the alert, provided, of course, that the driver has activated the “Car-to-X Communication” service. If this is the case, all eligible Mercedes cars connected to the same service and in the vicinity will be able to inform their drivers of this potential hazard by means of a small warning icon on their navigation map. Meanwhile, about 10 seconds before the relevant stretch of road is reached, an audible warning is emitted, and the icon is further highlighted onscreen.

Mercedes cars can already communicate with each other via the “Car-to-X” service in order to warn drivers of accidents, roadworks in progress, landslides, speed bumps or strong crosswinds. In the new C-Class, S-Class and EQS models, the audible warning says “Look out, pothole!” or “Attention, speed bump,” all available in 36 languages.

In order to benefit from this function, drivers need to have a “Mercedes me” account and to activate the “Car-to-X Communication” service. This service is free for three years, after which a fee must be paid. In total, some three million vehicles produced by Mercedes since 2016 can now benefit from this service. — ETX Studio