Autonomous car, winter version: Under development in Finland: Page 2 of 2

December 18, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Autonomous driving is already a challenging thing on normal, dry roads. It is even more so on ice-covered, slippery road. Where else could engineers face this challenge than in Finland? And so Martti, the first automated car to drive autonomously on a snow-covered road is the product of researchers from the VTT Research Centre of Finland.

The next step for VTT's autonomous cars will be changing the wavelengths of the optical components, increasing the resolution of the radar, and building more intelligence in the software monitoring the capabilities of the sensors. These are intended to enhance the vehicle's functioning capacity step by step also on slippery road surfaces, where concealed edge of the road or fog may obstruct visibility.

Different scenarios are added all the time in the development of the autonomous cars (such as cities, main roads, snow, exit ramps) that the car can manage, while increasing the driving speed and managing even demanding weather conditions with intelligence. 

Next, Martti will spend a well-deserved Christmas holiday, but Marilyn will be on call between Christmas and New Year, preparing for its first mission abroad, a trip to Germany in May. Before mid-January, Martti will be equipped with communications modules which allow it to communicate with digital transport infrastructure. So far it has been able to communicate with its spouse Marilyn only.

VTT's automated cars are intensely involved in the development of the 5G system, taking advantage of the opportunities it provides for automated driving through, for example, the 5G-SAFE project, which is part of Tekes’ Challenge Finland programme. VTT works in close collaboration with the European automotive industry in the development of automation for demanding weather conditions.

“We already have at our disposal an intelligent roadside unit, capable of feeding local information for the insatiable needs of Martti and Marilyn. This cart dubbed MARSU contains measuring devices for friction data and a communications module serving as a base station. Furthermore, next spring one of our vehicles can also be spotted in forest environments, when Marilyn and Martti get a new friend capable of tackling all terrains,” Kutila reveals.    

The Aurora E9 experiments have been conducted as a part of the Arctic Challenge-CAD project as a joint work between Indagon, InfoTripla and Dynniq.

Related articles:

Finland’s autonomous cars start communicating

Volvo cars share road-condition info in the cloud

See the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3GgJoVTHSU&feature=youtu.be 


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