New technology makes driving on ice safer

Helsinki: An automatic detection system helps motorists avoid personal injuries and damage to vehicles on slippery roads caused by the presence of snow.
Driving in snow
Developed by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the system relies a real-time method of obtaining information on a road’s actual slipperiness based on data collected by the car’s own sensors.

“The method entails estimating the difference in the speeds of the drive shaft and freely rotating axles in various driving situations, which enables deduction of the level of friction,” says senior scientist Kimmo Erkkila from VTT.

The system is capable of determining the slipperiness of a road on the basis of a drive of a few kilometres. The information is then passed on to the driver, before he or she has even noticed the change in road conditions, according to a VTT statement.

After this, observations collected from all cars and the related coordinates are transmitted wirelessly to a background system, which maintains a real-time slipperiness map and generates a log of the road conditions.

For each car that joins the system, the background system produces and transmits an individual data package on road conditions. This allows drivers to prepare in advance for slippery stretches of road.

The new system fits all cars. At present, the system has been used in heavy lorries, but is also directly compatible with other heavy vehicles.


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