Thousands of Dutch Mercedes cars to collect data for road monitoring
Mercedes has won a contract to supply the Dutch authorities with harvested data from their cars concerning road wear, safety, and weather conditions. Drawing on information from thousands of Mercedes vehicles and drivers on the road, the pilot project must help to support infrastructure management proactively. It’s an important showcase of how connected vehicles can help shape safer traffic conditions.
Collision hotspots, potholes, and icy roads. Many cars register these issues way before local authorities and road workers do. So, it takes precious time for the latter to identify a hazardous traffic spot, fix the asphalt, or deploy winter service. Because modern cars, equipped with intelligent sensors, are connected to the cloud, carmakers also know about these issues - but sooner.
Development in time
The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW), responsible for the national roads network, has awarded Mercedes a two-year contract for a road monitoring program. The German carmaker will anonymously gather relevant data in a digital dashboard called ROMO (for Road Monitoring), accessible to road workers, official experts, inspectors, etc. They can use these data to react more efficiently on the logistics level, enhancing road safety.
The raw data come from the cars’ sensors. These can register, for example, excessive suspension behavior (bad roads), traction loss (winter conditions), or frequent intervention from ADAS systems (risky traffic spots). Collecting this big data gives Mercedes the insight to locate the problems and then follow their development in time.
The data, which are not traceable to the source vehicle, are transferred to the carmakers’ server by the mobile communication network installed in the cars.
After evaluation, both parties will present the results from the program to the European Union as a best practice.
It’s not the first time Mercedes has worked with official authorities using harvested data. In the German Alps, the company already ran a successful pilot to identify skiddy road conditions during winter and improve the targeted use of grit and salt. In London, a project on near-accident data was concluded to enhance urban traffic safety by locating black spots.
Image source: Mercedes