Powder snow spray for AI-SEE's test cars

In February this year, Mercedes-Benz, VTT, ANSYS and Magna conducted a comprehensive test campaign in Muonio, Finland, focusing on validating and testing sensor technology in adverse weather conditions, specifically powder snow and snow spray (which usually leads to even greater visual impairment than the powder snowfall itself). These tests form part of the project’s winter testing campaigns (temperature range of -10 to -30 ⁰C), leveraging Finland's ideal conditions for adverse weather scenarios. Werner Ritter, the Coordinator of AI-SEE at Mercedes-Benz, explains, ‘We are investigating whether a high-resolution sensor suite, coupled with an adaptive AI signal enhancement method, can enable automated driving in situations where heavy snowfall and snow spray severely restricts visibility.’

This campaign is closely tied to a milestone: the validation and benchmarking of new sensors across various weather conditions. As the project nears its conclusion, these tests yield crucial input data for simulating and validating adverse weather models and computer vision algorithms. Trials conducted in realistic traffic scenarios ensure that prototypes not only perform in controlled environments but also hold promise for real-world applications.

The data and insights gathered in Muonio are instrumental in understanding the unique challenges posed by powder snow, snow spray and low temperatures. They serve as the foundation for the development of AI-SEE’s 24/365-High Resolution-Adaptive all-weather-sensor suite, contributing to an improved adverse weather perception stack for Automated Driving Systems (ADS).

The significance of this test campaign was highlighted by YLE, a prominent Finnish Broadcasting Company, which covered the event comprehensively. You can explore the detailed article and view two accompanying videos on their website here.

Picture credit: Yle