The Continental technology company is working on an automated risk warning system for aquaplaning. The loss of adhesion on many wet roads drastically reduces the ability to control the car and is a major risk to driving safety. In the future, the aquaplaning alert system, which uses data from cameras and tire sensors, will be able to recognize the aquaplaning situation
before it happens. This means drivers will be warned in time to correct their actions.
"Even in cars equipped with the best tires, sudden aquaplaning is a terrible moment and can lead to serious danger. We are developing a high-level technology that will use sensors and software to recognize the potential risk of aquaplaning and to warn the driver in time,"explains Frank Jurdan, Continental's Board of Trustees and Head of Chassis and Safety Division.
As a result of studies on the aquaplaning phenomenon and the development of the warning system, Continental also draws attention to the importance of the tire tread depth for driving safety. Aquaplaning depends on tread depth, water depth and driving speed. That's why Continental recommends that summer tires be changed when the depth of the
the tread falls below 3 mm. At less depth, the risk of aquaplaning is greatly increased.
Cameras: the key to the early warning of aquaplaning
Aquaplaning occurs when the treadmill can not quickly take the water off the road. To recognize this situation, the Continental system relies on images of 360-degree wide-angle cameras that are installed in the side mirrors, the grille and the rear of the car. "When there is plenty of water on the road, the images of the cameras show the specific pattern of splashing with tires from the early stages of aquaplaning,"explains Bernd Hartman, Continental's project manager.
In addition to camera data, Continental uses information from the tires themselves to identify the risk of aquaplaning. In this case, the sensor data will be analyzed directly in the tires. "We use the acceleration signal from the Electronic Tire Information System (eTIS) to look for and recognize a specific broadcasting pattern,"explains Andreas Wolf, head of Body & Security at Continental. Once eTIS recognizes the level of tread depth, the data is used to define and recommend to the driver the appropriate and safe for wet road conditions.
In the future, it will be possible to process all sensor data in the vehicle's central computer to warn the driver of the danger at the current speed. And here comes the great role of connectivity in the car - cars that have not yet reached the danger site can be informed about the danger through direct communication with another vehicle and through information in digital maps, part of the electronic horizon. In this way, they receive the necessary information on potential hazard zones and traffic control systems.
The early warning system for aquaplaning is particularly important for autonomous vehicles because they need to be able to avoid aquaplaning situations without human intervention. Continental's new technology is another step towards Vision Zero - Continental's goal of traffic-free road traffic. According to Continental experts, the technology may come into production for the next generation of cars.