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Skoda to caution drivers about slippery road conditions using swarm data

29th May 2021 8:00 am

Skoda is using real-time data collected from ABS and ESP sensors of its vehicles, combined with weather information, to warn drivers about hazardous road conditions.

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Skoda Auto has developed a swarm data intelligence-based service to warn drivers of slippery roads. The Czech carmaker’s ‘Local Hazard Information Service’ provides drivers with detailed information about current road conditions.

  • Skoda collects anonymised data from ABS and ESP sensors in its vehicles
  • Additional data, such as weather information, helps to assess road conditions
  • Alerts can be issued through the vehicles’ infotainment systems to warn drivers  

How does Skoda’s new tool work?

The information required for Skoda’s new tool is collected from its cars during live journeys. Accelerometers or ABS sensors in its vehicles capture the required data continuously. The integrated software also uses virtual sensors. This technology can estimate the coefficient of friction between the tyres and the road surface based on wheel slip. The sensor data is anonymised and transmitted to the cloud.

The aggregated information from all vehicles is then combined with metadata, such as weather information or previously measured information. Using the data collected, the road network is then displayed as a three-dimensional model. This is used to send alerts to Skoda vehicles via their infotainment systems, when they approach or already find themselves in areas with bad road surfaces – for example, in icy conditions.

Since the service is based on swarm data intelligence, the precision of the predictions increases with the number of vehicles connected and the data available for the system to analyse.

Commenting on the technology, Sebastian Lasek, Head of Product Line Connectivity at Skoda Auto, said, “The system uses the car’s sensors to detect challenging road conditions in advance. To this end, the ‘Local Hazard Information Service’ increases active safety for drivers and passengers.”

Which Skoda models will be available with the new service?

Over the course of 2021, more than 1.7 million Volkswagen Group vehicles in Europe will supply the data. By the end of 2022, this figure will rise to more than 3 million vehicles. The ‘Local Hazard Information Service’ is available abroad for the Enyaq, new Fabia, Kamiq, Karoq, Kodiaq, Octavia, Scala and the Superb and is part of the Skoda Connect services. The service can be used in 30 countries, provided that the vehicle features the ‘Amundsen’ or ‘Columbus’ infotainment system.

In India, the Superb comes equipped with the ‘Amundsen’ infotainment system, however, Skoda has made no official announcement about introducing its new service in our market.

The Skoda Kushaq, which is slated for a launch in India next month, will be available with the company’s new ‘Play’ infotainment system that will feature a 10.1-inch touchscreen. Powered by 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre engine options, the Kushaq will take on the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun.

Also see:

New Skoda Octavia India launch confirmed for June 2021

2021 Skoda Octavia: 5 things to know

Skoda Kushaq: 5 things to look out for

Skoda Kushaq completes road-testing in India

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