Volvo Explores the Use of Magnets to Guide Self-driving Cars

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1Q 2014 | IN-1018563

 

Volvo Car Group Research Project Tests Embedded Road Magnet Sensors

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Volvo Car Group recently announced having finalized a research project examining the use of magnets embedded in the road surface to provide high-accuracy location to self-driving cars. The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) co-financed the trial.

For the project, a pattern of round, 40 by 15 mm ferrite magnets were positioned 20 cm below the road surface, complementing road markings. Magnetic field sensors were installed on a test vehicle, which Volvo claims reached a location accuracy capability of better than 10 cm at a variety of speeds. According to Volvo, neither obstacles nor weather conditions will compromise the operation of magnets, unlike GPS.

Volvo cites additional advantages of magnet sensors, including preventing run-off-road accidents and improving the accuracy of winter road maintenance, avoiding damage to barriers and signs made invisi...

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