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Coventry University researchers develop new device to prevent aquaplaning and save lives

A new device that could prevent vehicles from aquaplaning and losing traction control due to adverse road conditions has been developed by Coventry University researchers.

Designed to be fitted to a wide range of vehicles, including cars and trucks, the prototype product presents a novel potential solution to aquaplaning and the loss of traction by preventing water and other contaminants from reaching the tyre

The Run Dry Traction System (RDTS) is the result of a two-year research project by Professor Mike Blundell and Ravi Ranjan from Coventry University’s Research Centre for Future Transport and Cities.

Designed to be fitted to a wide range of vehicles, including cars and trucks, the prototype product presents a novel potential solution to aquaplaning and the loss of traction by preventing water and other contaminants from reaching the tyre. The device works by firing a jet of compressed gas close to the front of the wheel, removing surface water in front of the tyre to ensure the vehicle has a dry patch of road ahead. This effectively ensures grip is not compromised by road contaminants such as water, sand and gravel.

The researchers said the solution could potentially save lives; tests demonstrate that RDTS has the potential to make a huge impact on vehicle safety in a whole host of conditions.

Professor Mike Blundell, Professor of Vehicle Dynamics and Impact at Coventry University, said: “The prospect of producing something that could even save lives on the road is extremely exciting and after some initial success with testing, we’re now eager to look into manufacturing potential and further research to take this concept to the next level.

“A device like this really could be the difference between life and death if it can help vehicles to stop safely within certain distances and that’s why we’re so keen to continue developing this concept.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.

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