Audi is taking another step on the way to safer and more intelligent mobility. For the first time, the premium manufacturer is using high-precision swarm data to improve its Car-to-X service “Local Hazard Information”. The new version uses a car-to-cloud application based on a new method for estimating the coefficient of friction based on the wheel slip. The technology can detect the smallest changes in road grip, upload the data to the cloud for processing and warn the following drivers in almost real time, for example about slippery roads.
Precise data for more security
Since 2017, Audi cars have been able to warn each other of accidents, breakdown vehicles, traffic jams, slippery roads or restricted visibility. To do this, the Car-to-X service “Local Hazard Information” evaluates various data. These include interventions by the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), rain and light sensors, windshield wipers and headlights, as well as emergency calls and airbag deployment. Audi is now taking the next step and improving the service with high-precision swarm data in order to make the warning even faster and more accurate. The brand with the four rings is the first manufacturer to use a patented solution from NIRA Dynamics AB in Sweden. On this basis, both companies have developed the improved hazard information together with the Car.Software organization and HERE Technologies.
The system can estimate the coefficient of friction
In the car, the system can estimate the coefficient of friction between the tires and the road surface based on the wheel slip. To do this, it uses chassis signals such as wheel speed or acceleration values. It is already permanently active in normal driving situations and not only in physical limit areas that would require the chassis control systems to intervene. The sensor data is anonymized - already in the car itself and also in the cloud hosted by NIRA Dynamics AB, to which it is transmitted. The data aggregated there is combined with metadata such as current weather information or empirical values and then forwarded to the service provider HERE Technologies by a NIRA server. There they are integrated into the HERE location platform, which represents the road network as a precise three-dimensional model.
The HERE servers send the warning information to the cars that are in or driving into areas with poor conditions. The drivers see them as a warning in the Audi virtual cockpit or in the optional head-up display.
Number of vehicles involved as a key success factor
The greater the number of vehicles that deliver data, the better the system can learn, analyze and map and thus inform or warn the driver as appropriate to the situation. This is the basic principle of swarm data and swarm intelligence - an area in which Audi has built up extensive knowledge in recent years. In Europe, more than 2021 million vehicles from the Volkswagen Group will deliver up-to-date data for the hazard information service in 1,7 and more than 2022 million vehicles in 3 - a key competitive advantage for the Volkswagen Group. The service is available in the new models from Audi, Volkswagen, Seat, Škoda, Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini.
Car.Software-Organization, a company of the Volkswagen group, was mainly responsible for the development. The project was designed in such a way that as many drivers as possible, regardless of the group brand, can benefit from the safety advantages. It is the first application for customers in which vehicle data is shared for a state-of-the-art data analysis of this kind. “The project for improved hazard information is a good example of the great potential of cross-brand software development. Together with other group brands and our strategic partner companies, we were able to develop a digital service within a few months, using our own software capabilities and economies of scale, ”says Thomas Müller, Head of Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) & Automated Driving (AD) at Car.Software organization. "The improved 'Local Hazard Information' service is just the beginning - we see a wide range of potential for the future."
Municipalities can optimize winter services in real time
With the help of up-to-date friction coefficient maps based on this database, municipalities can optimize their winter service, so to speak, in real time and reduce the environmental impact by reducing the use of road salt. Driver assistance systems can predictively precondition themselves and adapt even more precisely to the condition of the road, and the routing of the navigation system can take the road conditions into account in order to be able to calculate the expected arrival time more precisely. In the car, the control of wheel slip can, among other things, enable the development of maintenance services for all aspects of the tire by recognizing the state of wear or the level of performance of the tire.
About NIRA Dynamics AB: The software company, headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, is the market leader in the field of indirect tire sensor systems. NIRA uses state-of-the-art analysis of tire and vehicle data for the interaction of vehicles with the road. Tire Grip Indicator (TGI), the patented application for sensor fusion, calculates the friction and then loads the data into a cloud-based system for live mapping (Road Surface Information) for further processing and distribution.
About HERE Technologies: HERE is a location-based data and technology platform that advances people, businesses and cities. By using HERE's open platform, they can do better, more efficient and more sustainable Achieve results - for example in urban infrastructure management, the optimization of fleets and the flow of goods or safe navigation.
About the Car.Software organization: The Car.Software organization is a software company of the Volkswagen Group that bundles and expands its software competencies in terms of transforming mobility. Their mission is to develop the leading technology stack for the automotive industry and thus make the driving experience safer, more sustainable and more comfortable. Around 5.000 engineers and developers around the world are working on the development of a uniform software platform and architecture for all brands and markets of the Volkswagen Group. The Car.Software organization works in software competence centers in Berlin, Ingolstadt, Munich, Seattle as well as near Stuttgart and Wolfsburg.
Of course that had not happened yet!
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