Easyrain AIS: No more aquaplaning thanks to 5G

A new assistance system is currently being developed under the Easyrain label to prevent aquaplaning. Bosch and Italdesign are also getting involved.

Unfortunately, just about every car is capable of swimming. Not in the local swimming lake, though, but across puddles. You all know the problem: aquaplaning. This causes a wedge of water to form under the tire, with the consequence that grip is lost. Neither steering nor braking impulses reach the road surface at this moment. The phenomenon occurs at speeds of around 80 km/h and above, making it particularly dangerous. In the worst case, the vehicle starts to skid, and you can imagine where that might end. ABS or ESP are powerless, but rescue is at hand – from Italy.

How AIS works

Under the label “Easyrain”, a cooperation group with Bosch and Italdesign is working on a new assistance system called “Aquaplaning Intelligent Solution” (AIS). This is also because, according to an EU decision (from February 2019), all new cars must be equipped with at least 30 assistance systems from 2022. At first glance, the solution sounds very simple. The engineers install a nozzle in front of each of the front wheels that can break the surface tension of a puddle with a targeted spray, thus preventing aquaplaning. The question remains as to how the nozzle is supposed to know when exactly its use is called for. And this is where 5G comes into play.

A nozzle in front of the front wheel “sprays” the surface of the puddle.

The new mobile communications standard has long had a reputation for revolutionizing modern life, largely thanks to its low latency, which is less than one millisecond for 5G. By comparison, it’s up to 98 milliseconds with 4G. How does that help us? Well, the transmission of data in real time can be understood quasi-literally. Network architecture and cell density also differ, but let’s talk about cars again.

The digital brain

In this case, Easyrain uses a module called “Digital Aquaplaning Information” (DAI). The brain of the whole system, or in the automotive context: the control unit. This is where information comes together that comes from the vehicle and its sensors, from the tires and from the road surface. DAI uses not only cable connections, but also wireless networking via the 5G data network.


Easyrain AIS Anti Aquaplaning System Bosch Italdesign

All the necessary data converge in the “DAI”.

If you consider how precisely the exact moment must fit in which the nozzles are to “blow away” the outer edge of a puddle, you quickly come to the conclusion that the time window for this is quite small. Again, to be at risk from aquaplaning, the car will be traveling at least 80 km/h. Accordingly, high-speed data transmission is one of the basic requirements for the functionality of the whole idea.

Initial tests successful

Another key aspect is the compact design. According to Easyrain, the AIS can be installed in any type of vehicle. The nozzles are located in the front apron and draw on the water supply of the windshield wiper system. The research team is currently using an Audi A6 as a test vehicle.


Easyrain AIS Anti Aquaplaning System Bosch Italdesign

The team around Easyrain founder Giovanni Blandina (2nd from right) has been using an Audi A6 as a test vehicle since January.

The first tests (January 2021) show: The AIS works in a conventional production model with significant success. At speeds of 60 to 110 km/h, the system reduces slippage in curves and on straights to up to five percent. Now the aquaplaning savior is to be rolled out on a large scale and ready for the market by 2024. Easyrain founder Giovanni Blandina has already been working on the system since 2013, and Bosch and Italdesign have been on board since 2020. Blandina’s motivation for the AIS development: saving lives. Audi, Fiat-Chrysler, Renault and McLaren have already expressed interest.

Survey

Very important – they may be expensive and I check them all the time.

Not so important – cheap slippers will do.

To help you prepare for the coming season, see our photo show of summer tires recently tested by ADAC. There you can also find out which models perform better or worse, especially on wet roads.

Conclusion

Aquaplaning is a dangerous situation that can affect any driver. Easyrain’s assistance system is promising and could help to drastically reduce the number of accidents in wet conditions.

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