Audi Expands Swarm ADAS Capabilities

Audi is accelerating its swarm technology bringing more V2X features to its mass market products.

Its upgraded “Local Hazard Information” (LHI) now uses a car-to-cloud connectivity that can estimate the coefficient of friction on a road surface on the basis of wheel slip. The application can detect changes in road surface adhesion, upload data to the cloud for processing and warn upcoming drivers of road ice or other slippery conditions in near real time.

The automaker has been employing basic swarm connectivity since 2017, alerting compliant models about accidents, broken down vehicles, traffic jams, road ice or limited visibility. It analyses various vehicle data, including activation of electronic stabilization control (ESC), rain and light sensors, windscreen wipers, headlights, emergency calls and airbag triggers. The manufacturer claims to be the first to use a patented solution from Swedish company NIRA Dynamics AB for this purpose. The two companies adapted this solution as a basis to develop the enhanced hazard alerts together with the Car.Software organization and HERE Technologies.

Machine learning

The automaker says the greater the number of vehicles that deliver the data, the better the system can learn, analyze and create maps. In 2021, more than 1.7 million vehicles from the Volkswagen Group in Europe will contribute data for this improved hazard information service and this is expected to rise to more than three million in 2022. The service is available in new models from Audi, Volkswagen, Seat, Škoda, Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini.

Thomas Müller, head of ADAS and automated driving at the Car.Software organization, said: “The project for improved hazard information is a good example of the great potential of cross-brand software development. Together with other group brands and our strategic partners, we were able to develop a digital service within a few months while making use of our own software skills and economies of scale. The improved hazard information service is just the beginning; we see wide-ranging potential for the future.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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