Volvo Cars, the Swedish Transport Administration and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration are joining forces in a pilot project in which road friction information from individual cars is shared within a cloud-based system.
The real-time data about slippery patches on the road are used to warn vehicles nearby, at the same time as it contributes to making winter road maintenance more efficient.
"The pilot is one of the first practical examples of the way communication between vehicles over the mobile network enables vehicles to 'speak' to each other and with the traffic environment," said Volvo Cars' intelligent transport system co-ordinator Erik Israelsson.
"This can contribute to making traffic safer.
"We have 50 test cars on the roads, and next winter the fleet will grow considerably. Our aim is to make the technology available for our customers within a few years," he adds.
When the Volvo test car detects an icy or slippery road patch, the information is transmitted to Volvo Cars' database via the mobile phone network. An instant warning is transmitted to other vehicles that are approaching the slippery area, making it possible for the drivers to take immediate action to avoid a critical situation.
The information about the icy patch is also sent to the road administrator as a complement to existing measurement stations along the road. The data can help the road administrator and their contracted entrepreneurs to better plan and execute winter road maintenance and quickly address changed conditions.
"The information could help to improve road safety further for all road users. This could also reduce the use of salt when not needed and minimise the environmental impact," said Israelsson.