Volvo cars become road maintenance probes

Traction control hardware in Volvo cars includes sensor data that can be useful to other cars approaching a slippery section of road.

(Credit: Volvo)

Many automakers and governments are developing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, which let cars instantly communicate safety information to traffic in the immediate vicinity, but Volvo puts a uniquely Swedish spin on the tech with a new pilot project. Its cars will communicate data from wheel slip sensors to not only alert other cars to icy road conditions, but also to road maintenance authorities.

Volvo announced that 50 cars would participate in the pilot program, and that the “fleet would grow considerably” for next winter. The program is being run in conjunction with the Swedish Transport Administration and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

The cars in the program will need to be fitted with a data transceiver, which includes hardware to read sensor information from the vehicle. According to the Volvo’s press release, the cars will communicate over cell towers, sending their data and location to a Volvo data center. That same data center can send alerts to cars in the immediate vicinity warning them about slippery conditions.

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