Volvo Cars, the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (Statens Vegvesen) have joined forces in a pilot project whereby road friction information from individual cars is shared within a cloud-based system.
Data from individual vehicles, in which sensors in systems such as ABS and ESC sense slippery road conditions, is transmitted in real time to a Volvo database via a mobile phone network.
They are alerted by a 'slippery road' warning in their own instrument clusters. The level of driver warning will be adapted to match the severity level based on the vehicle speed and the present road conditions.
The same information is also relayed to the relevant road maintenance authorities, enabling them to tale preventive action.
"The pilot is one of the first practical examples of the way communication between vehicles over the mobile network enables vehicles to ‘speak’ to each other and with the traffic environment. This can contribute to making traffic safer," says Erik Israelsson, project leader cooperative ITS (Intelligent Transport System) at Volvo Cars.
"We have 50 test cars on the roads, and next winter the fleet will grow considerably. Our aim is to make the technology available for our customers within a few years," he adds.
The information shared with the road administrator does not include identification of unique vehicles. The aggregated information is used solely to describe the present status of the road network.
The slippery road warning is the first safety feature in the Volvo cloud. The development of sophisticated communication via the mobile network is part of the company’s aim to offer customers a fully connected experience, the company says.
"This is only the beginning. In the future we will have increased exchange of vital information between vehicles," says Israelsson. "There is considerable potential in this area, including safer traffic, a more comfortable drive and an improved traffic flow."