Ferrovial Agroman’s R&D department and its subsidiary Ditecpesa, along with Ferrovial’s CI3 Foundation and collaboration from Ferrovial Corporation and Cintra, have developed a smart pavement for steering in self-driving cars.
Currently, self-driving cars are steered using GPS, cameras, and laser systems. All these systems enable self-driving to some extent, depending on environmental conditions, which can be improved by adding complementary systems capable of operating independently of lighting and weather by adding effective communication with infrastructure, which can be decisive in definitive development of this type of driving.
The boom in self-driving cars requires thorough safety systems that guarantee reliability, so communication with infrastructure is essential, as exemplified with smart pavement, which can provide a vehicle’s relative positioning with respect to edges its traffic lane. The smart pavement devised by Ferrovial works as if it were the virtual rail of a wireless “Scalextric.” This solution involves the self-driving vehicle constantly collecting information that will allow it to know where it is within the track and provide the necessary information to the autonomous driving system to in order to correct the vehicle’s trajectory if any deviation occurs.
This research is the result of several years of work involving extensive tech analysis, testing in a pavement lab and on a closed course, and recently, real tests on an operational stretch of highway. The project is currently under review for a patent process prior to its future launch as a product.