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A sensor that allows a driving vehicle to detect road conditions has been patented.

Friday, 27 May 2022 12:19

Researchers from the University Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M) have developed and patented a sensor and method for detecting road conditions while a vehicle is in motion.  

This newest optical sensor is used to warning the presence of water, ice, or other obstacles on the roadway. In addition, to using this data to calculate the non-adherence of the surface. The aim of this device is to increase driving safety and prevent accidents once the sensor is integrated into motor vehicles.


The sensor works by reflectance spectroscopic techniques; it means that is using lights beams and photodetectors to analyze the vehicle´s environment. According to Marta Ruiz, Doctor of Electrical, Electronic and Automotive Engineer at the UC3M, the sensor is based on a dual-frequency optical comb, a photodetector, and a receiving optic.


This electronic photodetector, based on the light signal received, analyses the radio frequency spectrum of the detected signal, and translates it into a visible image of the road condition.


It is true that it existed other techniques and models to detection the state of the road, but the advantage of the new sensor is that it allows detecting in real time, when the vehicle is in motion. In addition, sensors based on spectrum analysis can be used for other purposes such as food monitoring, detection of contaminants, etc. 




Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. 2022. Noticias I+D+i. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 26 May2022].



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