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Precise data for greater safety: NIRA Dynamics launches Road Surface Alerts with Audi to improve slippery roads warning system

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Precise data for greater safety: NIRA Dynamics launches Road Surface Alerts with Audi to improve slippery roads warning system

NIRA Dynamics and Audi is taking another step toward safer and more intelligent mobility. The premium carmaker is using high-precision swarm data to improve its car-to-X service known as Local Hazard Information. The updated version uses a car-to-cloud application based on an innovative technology that detect the tiniest changes in road surface adhesion, upload data to the cloud for processing, and warn upcoming drivers of road ice or other slippery conditions in near real time. The data comes from NIRA’s recently launch product, Road Surface Alerts.

Since 2017, Audi cars have been able to warn each other about accidents, broken down vehicles, traffic jams, road ice, or limited visibility. NIRA and Audi are now taking the next step in vehicle safety by improving the service with high-precision cloud data to make alerts even faster and more precise. Audi is the first car manufacturer to utilize the Road Surface Alerts technology from NIRA Dynamics AB for this purpose. The two companies adapted this solution as a basis to develop enhanced hazard alerts, together with the Car.Software organization and HERE Technologies.

“This is a huge milestone for NIRA as a company. Many years of hard work has finally resulted in a service that we think can benefit the entire automotive industry and the society as a whole. The cooperation with Audi is extremely important as we have gained a lot of insights on the demands for coverage and data quality. Decreasing the number of accidents is the foundation of what we want to achieve, and this service will help us achieve that.” says Johan Hägg, Head of Marketing & Communication.

Within the car, the system can estimate the coefficient of friction between the tires and the road surface based on wheel slip. To calculate this, it uses chassis signals, such as wheel speed and acceleration values. It is already active in normal driving situations and not only during extreme situation when chassis control systems intervene. The sensor data is anonymized, both in the car itself and when transmitted to thecloud. Aggregated data from many vehicles are then combined with metadata, such as current and historical weather information, and then transmitted by NIRA cloud to service provider HERE Technologies. When integrated with the HERE location platform, the combined data intelligence represents the road network as a precise three-dimensional model.

Coming back to the vehicle, HERE servers send the warning information to those cars that are in or heading toward areas with poor conditions. The driver sees a warning in the Audi virtual cockpit or on the optional head-up display and can act accordingly.

Number of vehicles involved is a key success factor

The greater the number of vehicles that deliver data, the better the system can learn, analyze, and create maps, and thereby inform or warn drivers depending on the situation. This is the basic principle of swarm data and swarm intelligence. In 2021, more than 1.7 million vehicles from the Volkswagen Group in Europe will contribute data for this improved hazard information service, and this will increase to more than 3 million in 2022, creating a significant competitive advantage. The service is available in new models from Audi, Volkswagen, SEAT, Škoda, Porsche, Bentley, and Lamborghini.

This is the first customer application in which vehicle data is applied to this type of cutting-edge data analysis. “This project for improved hazard information is a good example of the high potential of cross-brand software development. Together with other Group brands and our strategic partners, we were able to develop a digital service within a few months, while making use of our own software skills and economies of scale,” says Thomas Müller, Head of Advanced Driving Assistance Systems ADAS & Automated Driving AD at the Car.Software organization.

The new and improved local hazard information service is just the beginning; we see wide-ranging potential for the future. Utilizing current friction coefficient maps based on this data pool, municipalities can optimize snow clearing services in real time and also reduce environmental impact by using less road salt. Driver assistance systems can ‘pre-learn’ and adjust to the condition of the road with even greater precision, and route guidance in the navigation system can take road conditions into account in order to provide a more accurate calculation of the expected time of arrival. Inside the car, control of wheel slip can enable development of new tire maintenance services, for example, detecting the level of wear as well as tire performance levels.

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About NIRA Dynamics AB

NIRA Dynamics is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, and is the market leader in the field of indirect tire pressure monitoring systems. NIRA uses cutting-edge analysis of tire and vehicle data from interaction between vehicles and the road. Tire Grip Indicator (TGI), the patented application for sensor fusion, calculates the friction coefficient and then uploads the data to a cloud-based system for live mapping (Road Surface Information) and for further processing and distribution.

About HERE Technologies

HERE Technologies is a leading service provider of location data and technology. Its services include installed navigation solutions and other location services that guide people, companies, and cities toward the mobility of the future through the targeted use of location data. The platform also offers an international potential for the exchange of location data via HERE Marketplace. The owners of HERE include Audi, BMW, Daimler, and the Chinese group Tencent.

About the Car.Software organization

The Car.Software organization is a software company of the Volkswagen Group that bundles and expands its software skills for the purpose of transforming mobility. Its mission is to develop the leading technology stack for the automotive industry, and thereby making driving experiences safer, more sustainable, and more comfortable. Roughly, 5,000 engineers and developers worldwide are working on building a uniform software platform and architecture for all brands and markets of the Volkswagen Group. The Car.Software organization works in software competence centers in Berlin, Ingolstadt, Munich, and Seattle as well as near Stuttgart and Wolfsburg.


Johan Hägg

Press contact Head of Marketing & Communication +46 700 454056

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Together for Smarter Safety

About NIRA Dynamics: NIRA Dynamics, established 2001 with main office in Linköping/Sweden, is specialized in sensor fusion and develops cost efficient safety and navigation solutions for the global vehicle industry. Among the customers are leading vehicle manufacturers as Audi, Volkswagen, Honda, Seat, Skoda, Volvo, Fiat and Renault. To learn more about NIRA, visit:

At NIRA Dynamics, we are all about innovation and exploration. Driven by great minds that think alike – and differently – we find smarter solutions and develop what doesn’t exist. Always sharing one clear vision: to make transportation safe and hassle-free, using software only.

Today the automotive market is transforming into a mobility and transportation market, and autonomy is becoming central. With our existing solutions and continuous innovation in our two business areas; Vehicle Onboard Analytics and Road Perception, we are a key player in this development.

Nira Dynamics AB
Wallenbergs gata 4
58330 Linköping