Publication date: 01/04/2021
Every winter it is a recurring dilemma for the provincial government of Limburg as road authority, to determine if the roads need to be gritted or not. It is a difficult choice, as a mistake is easily made. If you grit unnecessarily, it is detrimental to the environment and a waste of money. However, deciding not to grit while it being necessary to do so, may lead to hazardous situations. It was for these reasons that the SmartwayZ.NL mobility programme started a pilot in the Province of Limburg, in cooperation with Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH. Data from Mercedes vehicles on the roads in Limburg is going to help road authorities make more accurate decisions.
Foto Strooibeleid


In the last winter, in cooperation with the district of Limburg and SmartwayZ.NL, Mercedes-Benz has tested how safety on wintry roads and the efficiency of municipal winter services can be improved with car-to-X communication. Car-to-X is the term used to describe communication between vehicles and the transport infrastructure. Mercedes-Benz passenger cars equipped with car-to-X technology, whose owners have activated the Live Traffic Service, will provide the necessary data for the pilot tests.


Once the ESP® or ABS sensors of these vehicles have recognised slippery road conditions, this information including the GPS data is anonymised sent to the Mercedes-Benz Vehicle Backend in real time, using the mobile radio network. This anonymised information is displayed on digital maps and provided to the winter maintenance departments at the district of Limburg. In the future, this will make it possible to deploy the winter service more effectively and optimise the use of de-icing salt.


Product improvement

Road authorities do not, of course, have to rely entirely on the data from the Mercedes cars. They also follow the weather forecasts provided by the weather agency. In addition, the road is equipped with sensors, which measure the temperature of, and above, the road surface, plus the quantity of grit that has already been deposited. A month-long pilot has been started to see whether sharing data helps road authorities make decisions that are more accurate.


As Carla Brugman-Rustenberg, responsible for mobility at the provincial government of Limburg, explains: "Within the framework of the SmartwayZ.NL mobility programme we are working together on smart solutions which are designed to keep Limburg and Brabant accessible. This cooperation with Mercedes-Benz is bound to generate even better results. If the pilot is successful our road authorities may, in the future, integrate the new solution into their standard approach. It will then also be possible to extend the project to other regions in the Netherlands."


Mercedes-Benz already introduced mobile networking in 2013, establishing a technology that allows danger warnings to be transmitted and received. Car-to-X communication has been installed as standard in combination with navigation systems since 2016. To use the "Car-to-X" service the customer must also hold a Mercedes me connect account. Only then are data registered in the vehicle, and the vehicle-related car-to-X data are sent to the backend where they are anonymised. In addition, Mercedes-Benz drivers can simply object to their data being shared for the purpose of a resale to third parties via their Mercedes me accounts.


About Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH

As a connectivity and data service provider, Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH offers innovative data-based product solutions. Commercial customers can purchase vehicle-specific and vehicle-related services and data to optimize their fleets or to design new products and business models. Car and Van fleet operators are just as much a part of the customers as their service providers, car rental companies, leasing companies and insurance companies, as well as neutral servers, app and software developers. Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH is part of Mercedes-Benz AG group.