In this article we spoke of the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and their interesting take on vehicle-based road-condition sensor webs. Sadly the image they provided, was too large to make out on a normal article page. So, the full version is presented here.
What makes this particular system unique is that it is targeted particularly at heavy goods vehicles. Currently in its pre-commercialisation stage, articulated lorries are the primary target. However the researchers plan to offer it all manner of heavy goods traffic once it is perfected - and to household cars as a read-only device, reading off the results from the HGVs. The theory being that any ice patch severe enough to cause grip issues for a HGV, must be an immediate priority for the nearest highway maintenance vehicle to grit.
Another nice aspect of the VTT system, is it makes use of features most attempts at vehicular sensor webs forget. All HGVs these days have an internal data bus, connecting the engine, the vehicle cabin and the trailer. So, design the system so it can interface with this data bus directly. If the vhicle has a sat-nav system made by any manufacturer, it too will be interfacing the data bus and will accept ice warnings in real-time from the sensors. Likewise, the system can make use of the sat-nav's GPS data for filing a report back to HQ over the phone system or a wireless internet link if available. Haulage firms who purchase it, do not have to purchase all these parts with it; if they already have the capability, the sensor web will make use of what they already have.
Image credit: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
For further details, please see this article.