Continental is developing new concepts designed to warn drivers about an imminent risk of aquaplaning. A specific situation called aquaplaning is extremely dangerous for manually driven vehicles as well as automated ones. As when there is a thick layer of water on the road, the water pressure between the tire footprint and the road surface can make the front wheels float and functions like braking and steering are no longer possible.
The technology company is developing new sensor-based concepts to warn the driver in the event of imminent loss of friction. The system under development is all encompassing – tires, tire-sensors, cameras, algorithms, brake actuation, and the human-machine interface.
Utilizing signals from surround view cameras and tire-mounted eTIS (electronic-Tire Information System) sensors, an early warning concerning the approaching aquaplaning situation is provided to the driver.
In addition to image information, Continental uses information from tires to detect the risk of aquaplaning. In this concept, signals from Continental’s eTIS sensors, mounted on the tire’s inner liner, are computed.
To detect aquaplaning situations, video images from surround view cameras mounted in the side mirrors, the grill, and rear are analyzed. During the first testing phase of the new solution, the wetness recognition algorithms delivered a very high hit ratio in predicting potential aquaplaning conditions.
The company is also working on V2X technology and eHorizon, facilitating a network of solidarity where one vehicle acts as a safety sensor for all other vehicles and not just those in its direct vicinity. eHorizon can provide this information to vehicles that could potentially be affected, so they are able to adjust their driving functions to the aquaplaning conditions.