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.