Volvo Testing Road Magnets to Help Self-Driving Cars Position Themselves [w/Video]

Volvo has completed a research project that uses magnets on the roadway to help autonomous cars determine their position. One of the crucial issues in the development of self-driving cars is reliable and accurate positioning, with Volvo saying magnets are better than GPS and cameras. That’s because the latter have limitations in certain conditions, while road-integrated magnets remain unaffected by physical obstacles and poor weather conditions.

“The magnets create an invisible ‘railway’ that literally paves the way for a positioning inaccuracy of less than one decimeter. We have tested the technology at a variety of speeds and the results so far are promising,” said Jonas Ekmark, Preventive Safety Leader at Volvo Car Group.

Volvo Cars will participate in a large-scale autonomous driving pilot project in which 100 self-driving Volvo cars will use public roads in everyday driving conditions around the Swedish city of Gothenburg.

“It is fully possible to implement autonomous vehicles without changes to the present infrastructure. However, this technology adds interesting possibilities, such as complementing road markings with magnets,” said Ekmark.

Volvo Cars’ research team created a 100-meter long test track at the company’s testing facilities in Hällered outside Gothenburg, Sweden. A pattern of round ferrite magnets (40×15 mm) was located 200 mm below the road surface and the car was equipped with several magnetic field sensors.

According to Volvo, the magnets could also prevent run-off road accidents, facilitate accuracy of winter road maintenance and allow a more efficient utilisation of road space since accurate positioning could allow lanes to be narrower. However, Volvo doesn’t mention anything about costs, which may prove to be the biggest obstacle for implementing this idea.

By Dan Mihalascu

VIDEO

Skoda Vision iV: What’s It Like To Drive The Electric SUV Concept?

The study has 500 km of range, two electric motors and 300 HP, and previews a production model.

Audi A8 Horch Takes A Virtual Swing At The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

Audi’s officially readying a more upscale variant of its flagship sedan, and here’s how it could look like.

Hyundai Will Use AI To Automatically Alert Authorities To Injuries After Crashes

The Israeli tech company’s tech is so advanced it can alert authorities of potential injuries in just 7 seconds.

Toro Rosso Boss Says Today’s F1 Drivers Can Handle Much Faster Cars With Ease

Nowadays, you’ll never see a driver collapsing after a race as in the past, even in the worst of conditions.

Jay Leno Checks Out Mil-Spec’s Hummers At His LA Garage

The legendary military truck-turned-fashion icon has been thoroughly updated without losing its identity.

Mercedes-Benz 560SEC Widebody: Big, Bad, And Old School To The Core

Some pristine, low-mileage 560SEC AMG 6.0 examples sell for more than $100,000 these days.

Ferrari 488 Pista Spider Sets The Benchmark In Open-Top Supercars

Can anyone find a flaw in the way the new 488 Pista Spider drives? Well, they can sure try…

BMW M2 Competition, M4 And Others Recalled Over Potentially Faulty Airbags

Certain 2019-2020 2-Series, 3-Series and 4-Series models are also included in the recall.

Several States Want To Use Credit Cards At EV Stations, Security Concerns Arise

Most current electric vehicles chargers use an app or secure, contactless payment methods.

Corvette Z06 Driver Does A Mustang By Attempting Burnout, Ending Up In Ditch

The ‘Vette disappears in a cloud of white smoke before crashing in an embarrassing manner.