System to detect slip



An automatic road grip detection system developed by VTT helps drivers avoid personal injuries and damage to vehicles in slippery road conditions. The system ensures that the vehicle receives rapid advance information about the actual level of surface grip, and gives immediate warning to other vehicles arriving in the area.

Information to be relayed to vehicles concerning low road grip has previously been tested using SMS, for example, with warnings based on estimations derived from meteorological information and other sources. The new system allows direct observations of surface grip levels in real time.

Road grip detection is based on a method developed and patented by VTT, in which detection of real-time changes in the level of grip are based on measurement information supplied by the vehicle’s own sensors. The system is able to determine low levels of grip after a distance of a few kilometres and to relay the information to the driver, often before he or she is aware of any change in road conditions.

All observations, including coordinates, collected from vehicles are relayed wirelessly to a back-end system that maintains a real-time road grip map and generates an overall picture of the grip levels in the road network. Packages of road grip information, tailored to each vehicle, are produced and relayed by the back-end system to all vehicles connected to the system. This allows drivers to prepare themselves for slippery stretches of road ahead.

The system developed by VTT is suitable for all makes of vehicles. Up to now the system has been applied to heavy goods vehicles, but is also directly applicable to other types of heavy vehicle, and in future also to private cars. Later on, the system can be extended to benefit from road grip observations collected from private cars.

The functionality of the method has been verified n field trials with Itella Logistics (formerly VR Transpoint groupage logistics), EC-Tools Oy and Nokian Tyres plc. VTT is currently negotiating commercialisation of the system.

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