[Pictured above: Tactile’s user interface describing the condition of the roads in the city of Detroit]
The City of Detroit, major Detroit-based Automaker and the israeli Tactile Mobility, revealed that over the past year they have partnered in an under-the-radar pilot aimed to improve the city pavement conditions and optimizing maintenance using Tactile’s technology. The three parties are collaborating to demonstrate Tactile Mobility’s in-vehicle software and insights’ ability to provide an objective, ‘up-to-date’ and accurate road pavement rating mapping solution.
As part of the proof of concept, which is expected to be completed soon, Tactile’s software was installed in the vehicles of the municipality’s public works department that patrolled around the city, rating the conditions of each road section and alerting the municipality to maintenance problems such as cracks, potholes and overly slippery roads due to rain or snow. The goal is to enable the municipality to respond in an effective and real-time manner to infrastructure problems that develop on inner-city roads.
Detroit is home to the three major american automakers: Ford, General Motor, and Fiat Chrysler, collectively known as “The Big Three”. Tactile’s software was apparently installed in Ford-made cars, seeing as both companied have been collaborating for several years as part of Ford’s intention to implement Tactile Mobility in its vehicle’s computers.
The joint statement said the car manufacturer is looking to advance its technology and offerings in cities and municipalities. The pilot was deemed successful by all parties. Yagil Tzur, VP of Product at Tactile, said: “The high correlation between Tactile Mobility’s pavement rating and current standards exceeded the City of Detroit’s needs and satisfaction. This is the first step towards a full suite of solutions that will provide insights about maintenance and road safety.”
BMW to embed Tactile software in its cars
Tactile Mobility provides a software suite which utilizes vehicles’ built-in, non-visual sensors to collect and analyze data about vehicle and road dynamics, enabling smart and connected vehicles to analyze the road surfaces below their tires as well as modeling vehicle systems performance and road conditions. In-vehicle, real-time data includes attributes such as available grip level, which signifies the specific vehicle and road traction limits.
The company’s platform consists of two components: VehicleDNA is an anonymized representation of each vehicle’s systems characteristics, including suspensions, powertrain, braking efficiency, tire health and more, and SurfaceDNA is a bundle of mapping layers of road attributes, conditions and distresses that offers an in-depth view of driving environments to better anticipate road conditions ahead and pre-configure vehicle systems.
In september, BMW announced it will incorporate Tactile’s road-sensing software in all of the car models it will produce starting in mid-2021.