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Researchers are teaching cars how to 'listen' for wet roads

Cars have been getting safer and safer thanks to intelligent systems and on-board computers, but researchers are always exploring new ways to increase road safety. That’s why they’ve decided to teach cars to ‘listen’ to the road.

Reseachers from MIT, Toyota and the New England Transportation Center have banded together and developed a system that can identify wet roads just by the sound of wheels on pavement. Not only that, but their system can even identify how wet a road is and tell a car’s other systems to adjust to the driving conditions.

According to their paper, almost 5,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries happen every year in the US as a result of wet roads. Teaching cars how to identify and adapt to these conditions may lead to substantially reduced mortality rates.

And this technology, which so far is 93.2% accurate in tests at different speeds, and uses artificial neural networks for analysis, isn’t just destined for the smart self-driving cars of the future. Instead, it could become standard in normal cars in a few years.

If you’re not impressed with the researchers’ results just yet, here’s a final thought: their system works so well that even stationary cars can listen to the sound of others in traffic and determine how wet the road is.

You can learn more about how the system works by hitting up the source link below.

Source: ArXiv via: The Register | Car windows with rain drops image via Shutterstock

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