Image: Bosch

Bosch has developed a cloud-enabled predictive road conditions technology for automated and connected vehicles, incorporating weather data from Finnish firm Foreca. This will alert drivers to hazards including wet roads, snow and ice before a critical situation occurs, warning them to take back the wheel from a self-driving system, for example, and will be rolled out from 2020.

The service will initially be based only on Foreca’s weather data, which is optimized by a worldwide measuring fleet and machine learning methods. However, when a critical mass of connected vehicles is on the road, this data will be supplemented with feedback from these vehicles such as temperature, whether windshield wipers are in action, and interventions from ESP anti-skid systems: these indicate the friction coefficient, or level of grip, on the road on a wheel-by-wheel basis.

In fully-automated vehicles, the information gives time for speed to be adjusted and acceleration style changed – to avoid aquaplaning, for example – and can reduce the need for driver intervention in lower-level AVs with self-driving functions. Bosch points out as well that this monitoring can make a ride smoother and more comfortable.

“Combining the expertise of Foreca and Bosch will lead to a new era of road condition forecasting,” said Petri Marjava, Foreca’s sales director, in a statement. “Unlike weather forecasts in the media the Bosch road condition services take multiple forecast scenarios into consideration.”

-Farah Alkhalisi