A new software stack developed by steering supplier Nexteer Automotive and Israeli tech startup Tactile Mobility allows vehicles to get a better "feel of the road" in hazardous conditions — and even to detect the health of a tire.
The software is integrated into a vehicle's steering system to instantly detect when the tires have contacted an icy patch of road highway. The vehicle then converts road surface information into data that the vehicle "interprets and assigns to various road-condition scenarios," according to the companies.
Detecting a change in conditions, the software could instruct an adaptive cruise control system to increase the distance between the vehicle and the one in front of it, according to the companies.
"We are providing the car the ability to sense the road itself," Shahar Bin-Nun, CEO of Tactile Mobility, told Automotive News. "It's all about understanding the micro-slips and the dynamics between the surface and the car and deriving all of this information."
The software has potential use in advanced driver-assistance systems as well as future autonomous vehicles as they move with less human-driver input.