Issue: Feb 2018


NIRA Dynamics AB: Norway Invests in Safer Winter Roads Using Connected Cars



by Alan Tran

The Norwegian road authority Norska Statens Vegvesen invests in new technology for winter road prognosis from Klimator and NIRA Dynamics, Road Status Information. RSI is software which through advanced algorithms combines the data from connected vehicles with information from roadside weather stations and weather forecasts. That makes connected vehicles rolling weather stations which transmit various signals including current road friction which is the key to determine local road grip.

 

RSI manages to determine the road grip conditions in real time with high precision and creates accurate 12h forecasts. This enables an increased safety on wintery roads, a significant environmental benefit and cost savings through the more efficient use of winter service resources (road salt consumption, driven miles in salt trucks, etc.).

 

"This technology quantum leap is overdue in the business to make use of new opportunities and meet the road users' expectations. We have tested the new technology and are confident that RSI is the best performing solution," explains Torgeir Vaa from Norska Statens Vegvesen.

 

The vehicles are connected via NIRA-developed OBD-dongles and register current position, ambient temperature, wiper activity and road friction. It takes only a few minutes to equip a vehicle and shortly after, the data is continuously available on the RSI-server.

 

"We are inspired by our successful tire pressure monitoring system which is installed in over 40 million vehicles around the world. A few years from now, OBD-dongles will be replaced by small software modules standard-fitted into connected vehicles," adds Gustav Kristiansson, Manager New Technologies at NIRA Dynamics.

 

The project started in January 2018 in Tromsö and there is much interest in the new technology. More than 300 private car owners have registered their vehicles to participate.

 

"We have not been expecting such a resonance," admits Torgeir Vaa. "The plan was to have only about 50 OBD units for private volunteers, but we are very happy about this level of acceptance. The remaining OBD-dongles will be fitted into taxis, rental cars and delivery vehicles with varying use patterns - we expect very interesting winter months."

 

Due to much international interest, RSI will also be presented at the PIARC fair in February, one of the biggest meetings points for winter service specialists worldwide.

 

About RSI.

 

RSI - Road Status Information is a connected software to measure and predict road grip. It is in use at several Swedish winter services already, but could also be used by the police, fire brigade or logistic companies and for the planning of special transports. RSI is developed by Klimator, a technology startup from the University of Gothenburg, and NIRA Dynamics, a software supplier to the automotive industry.



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