Volvo road test tests roads, shares road friction with cloud

VolvoroadVolvo Cars, the Swedish Transport Administration and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration are working together to enable cars to share information about conditions that relate to road friction, such as icy patches and hazard lights.

The information will be shared through a cloud-based network. The test fleet has grown from about 50 to 1000 cars. The project is moving rapidly towards its goal of making the technology available to customers within a few years’ time.

Volvo has developed a slippery-road alert, which notifies drivers about icy patches and contributes to making winter road maintenance more efficient. Volvo is adding a hazard-light alert, which will tell drivers if another vehicle in the area has its hazard lights on.

More features will be coming in the future.

Volvo is ready for the validation phase with more cars and expansion to two Scandinavian cities: Gothenburg and Oslo. Together, these measures will provide a more complete picture of how the system will work in real winter traffic conditions.

The slippery-road alert also sends information about icy patches to road administrators as a complement to existing measurement stations along the road.

The data can help municipalities better plan and execute winter road maintenance and quickly address changed conditions. Also, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration will conduct an independent assessment of the system to identify additional uses for the data in aiding future winter road maintenance.

The hazard-light and slippery-road alerts are the first safety features in the Volvo cloud.

The project was started by the Swedish Transport Administration and is a collaboration with Volvo Cars, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Klimator AB, RoadIT, Luleå University of Technology, The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Taxi Göteborg and the University of Gothenburg.