Winter road maintenance could be getting more efficient thanks to the Grip, a black-ice detection system from two Finnish research organizations.
The two firms—EEE Innovations and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland—developed the system to accurately detect slippery road conditions in real-time and with costs significantly lower than by any other methods already being used. The first application of this patented technology is being offered to commercial vehicle owners and operators, but the invention can be applied to private vehicles as well.
The technology equips a commercial vehicle with the software to detect a slippery road surface and has as transmitter to send out the warning signal to other commercial drivers set up with the receiving equipment. Receivers could also be installed in passenger vehicles and road maintenance vehicles, which could respond immediately to the stretch of road in question.
In winter 2015-2016, four tests were performed using tanker trucks and three tests using buses. According to the test results, the companies believe that the Grip method might prove more cost-effective for determining black ice and slippery roads in general than the system abandoned by the Finnish Transport Agency in 2011.
The added value is increased safety for road users because they are alerted to slippery conditions before arriving on the section with less traction.
Source: World Highways