Capturing Continuous, Real-Time Road Friction Data to Make Roads Safer
What’s the main concern around the emergence of self-driving vehicles? Safety, of course, especially as road or weather conditions change. One crash has been enough reason for some companies to pull their fleet or services off the road. With good reason too. Business ideas in this space need to make roads safer not more dangerous.
With proprietary hardware installed in carefully selected vehicles RoadCloud, a Finnish startup, can continuously collect multiple real-time data streams from their partner vehicle fleets. This data is sent to their data cloud where algorithms can provide information on real-time road and traffic conditions. This data is helpful not only for autonomous driving but also for traffic and road maintenance systems that are focused on the future of mobility.
The key enabling technology underpinning all of this data is road friction estimation. While human drivers automatically adjust to subtle changes in these conditions, autonomous vehicles need additional inputs in order to make similar and safe decisions.
The team behind RoadCloud spent many years conducting tire-road friction and vehicle dynamics research at Aalto University which led to the founding of the company. Founder and CEO Ari Tuononen has experience at Goodyear R&D in Luxembourg and leading the vehicle dynamics research group at Aalto University with nearly 100 scientific publications. Fleet and data-focused team Arto Niskanen, Jaakko Laine, and Karl-Kristian Högström have advanced degrees from Aalto.
The company is currently in a rapid scale-up phase and will use venture capital financing to add key positions in design, marketing, sales, and product. RoadCloud has been awarded a contract with Trafikverket in Sweden to help improve the road maintenance efforts in the Gothenburg and Västerås areas. RoadCloud is eager to continue expanding their information services to other cities, countries, and continents.