Continental uses road condition detection for active driving safety

  • Industry News
  • Apr 05,17
Continental uses road condition detection for active driving safety

Frankfurt, April 2017 - Wet and icy road conditions frequently cause accidents. Even experienced drivers can misjudge how well the tires grip the road. The international technology company Continental is developing a new solution called Road Condition Observer in response to this threat. A specially developed algorithm detects the typical features for the four different road conditions: dry, wet, snow-covered and icy. Currently, detecting wet conditions is undergoing advanced testing at vehicle manufacturers.

"We use sensors available in the vehicle for the Road Condition Observer to gain information on the grip of the road surface," says Bernd Hartmann, Head of the Enhanced ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) and Tire Interactions project group within the advanced engineering department of Continental's Chassis and Safety division. "This knowledge allows us to adjust the functions of advanced driver assistance systems to the current road conditions. For example, to prevent an impending collision, automatic emergency braking must be initiated considerably earlier on a wet road than on a dry road."

Currently, it is solely the task of drivers to assess the weather conditions and to combine this with observations of the vehicle's surroundings, in order to draw the correct conclusions on the condition of the road. In the future, the Road Condition Observer will support the driver, allowing the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems to be capable of detecting adverse conditions and reacting suitably and in good time. Hartmann believes that this capability will become more important in the future: "Automated driving also requires us to make judging the condition of the road technically possible for the system. An automated vehicle in particular must know if it is icy so that it can safely drive around the next corner."

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