Self-Driving Cars Might be Able to Hear How Wet a Road is

By Gary Cutlack on at

A plan to outfit autonomous cars with ears has been outlined by a group of researchers, who claim the best way of telling a car how wet the road it's driving on is is by analysing the sounds made as it swishes through puddles and potholes.

It all sounds very complex and like the sort of thing Google might buy up pronto, as the system is described as offering a "recurrent neural network architecture" that monitors sounds and processes them. And it even works when the car is stationary too, as the always-listening car ears of the future will still be able to monitor the swooshing sounds of cars driving past.

The team claims to have reached an accuracy level of 93.2 per cent across all driving speeds, an invaluable tool that could drastically cut down on the number of accidents caused by drivers, even human ones, misinterpreting wet roads. [The Register]

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