Volvo is expanding its vehicle-to-vehicle testing program from 50 vehicles to 1000.
Volvo Cars, the Swedish Transport Administration and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration have been working together on a project to enable cars to share information about conditions that relate to road conditions such as icy patches.
The information will be shared through a cloud-based network; a revolutionary approach to improving traffic safety, said Volvo.
With the test fleet expanding from about 50 cars to 1000, the project is moving rapidly towards its goal of making the technology available to customers within a few years’ time, declared Volvo.
“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,” said 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.”
The Swedish company added the research project is getting closer to real-world implementation; with the technology in place, the testing and validation phase is now about to begin.
In this new phase of the test, Volvo Cars explained it will both expand the test fleet 20-fold and broaden the test area. New is the inclusion of two Scandinavian cities: Gothenburg and Oslo. Together, believes Volvo, these measures will provide a more complete picture of how the system will work in real winter traffic conditions.
On top of offering vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, the slippery-road alert also sends information about icy patches to road administrators as a complement to existing measurement stations along the road. Companies involved in the research believe data can help road administrators and their contracted entrepreneurs to better plan and execute winter road maintenance and quickly address changed conditions.
In addition, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration said it will conduct an independent assessment of the system to identify additional uses for the data in aiding future winter road maintenance.
Volvo Cars stated the hazard-light and slippery-road alerts are the first safety features in the Volvo cloud; the development of communication via the mobile network is part of the company’s aim to offer customers a fully connected experience.
“In the future we will have increased the exchange of vital information between vehicles, as well as between vehicles and infrastructure,” said Erik Israelsson. “There is considerable potential in this area, including safer traffic, a more comfortable drive and improved traffic flow. This will bring us closer to our safety vision that by 2020 no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car. And it’s another way in which the ‘Designed around you’ philosophy improves the driving experience.”