Adopting an approach to improve road safety, Volvo Cars, the Swedish Transport Administration and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration are working towards a project that will enable cars to share information about road conditions through a cloud based network.
The testing team that started testing this project with 50 cars have now expanded to 1000 cars. It is perceived that this project is progressing very fast towards ensuring that technology is made available for customers in the coming years.
“The more information that can be shared on the road, the fewer surprises there are. And when you’re driving, surprises are what you most want to avoid,” says Erik Israelsson, Project Leader Cooperative ITS (Intelligent Transport System) at Volvo Cars.
“In light of that, we’ve developed a slippery-road alert, which notifies drivers about icy patches and contributes to making winter road maintenance more efficient. We’re also adding a hazard-light alert, which will tell drivers if another vehicle in the area has its hazard lights on. With these first two features, we have a great platform for developing additional safety features. This is just the beginning,” explained Israelsson.
As the testing phase is still on, the validation phase of the project in which Volvo cars will expand the testing team and widen the testing area (that will include Gothenburg and Oslo) is yet to commence. With the slippery road alert, information about icy patches can be sent to road administrators as a complement to current existing measurement stations on the road.
The data will enable road authorities and their contractors to plan and execute road maintenance during winters and address the changed condition of the road. Besides that, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration will assess the system to identify ways to put this data for additional use in supporting road maintenance in future.
Volvo cars aims to develop a communication system via mobile network so that the customers can realize a fully connected experience. The hazard light and slippery road alerts are the first safety features in the Volvo cloud. The company has initiated partnerships to create cloud based solutions.
“In the future we will have increased the exchange of vital information between vehicles, as well as between vehicles and infrastructure. There is considerable potential in this area, including safer traffic, a more comfortable drive and improved traffic flow,” says Erik Israelsson.