Aquaplaning is possibly one of the most unavoidable ways to have a crash, but some surprisingly simple tech could solve this deadly issue.
A new safety technology created by Italian company Easy Rain has been shown to significantly reduce the chance of aquaplaning.
Easy Rain collaborated with two well-known automotive companies – Italdesign, who are better known for creating the Nissan GT-R 50, and Bosch who are already well established as an OEM manufacturer of safety technology such as AEB systems.
Aquaplaning, also known as hydroplaning, occurs when standing water builds up on the road and separates a car’s tyres from the tarmac which can cause the driver to lose control.
The issue is particularly prevalent at higher speeds and is more likely to occur with worn or certain performance tyres that have less tread depth.
The technology designed by Easy Rain is dubbed Aquaplaning Intelligent Solution (AIS).
The system works by firing a water jet ahead of the front tyres to part the standing water from the road ahead, exposing the asphalt and allowing the tyre to regain grip.
Easy Rain says AIS consistently returned a 30 per cent increase in traction when cornering an 35 per cent increase on straight roads.
In test videos where the system was fitted to an Audi A6 wagon, the car was seen rounding a wet corner and remaining stable with AIS fitted. In contrast, when the system was deactivated the Audi momentarily lost traction before exiting the corner.
The water jet and the rest of the components are mounted in the front of the vehicle just behind the bumper. In the A6 example, this taps into the existing windscreen wiper tank and sensors to avoid adding increased complexity and weight.
Naturally, in this guise the system will require the windscreen washer bottle to be topped up more regularly – though we’d argue this is a small price to pay for the increased safety.
It should be noted that these tests were conducted by Easy Rain themselves and not an independent safety testing body such as Euro NCAP, who could return different results under their own testing conditions.
It remains to be seen if Easy Rain’s AIS will be looked at by car manufactures as a serious consideration but for now, the technology is still in development.
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