ABSTRACT

Innovative trends such as autonomous cars and smart vehicles have gained increasing attention and will form a new mobility technology. At the same time, the appearance of smart tire systems will give rise to better tire performance, better vehicle control, and the enhancement of current intelligent systems for autonomous vehicles. In contrast, innovations for the road system, which must carry the increasing traffic loads, have been rare in recent years. However, to solve current and future challenges of mobility related to road transport (e.g., durability, safety, efficiency, ecology, cost, etc.), the potential for innovative trends and digitalization of all interacting components—vehicle, tire, and road—should be used to change the industrial ecosystem and paradigm of transport in human life. The vision of a digital twin of the road system, which is the digital/virtual image (reality model in space and time) of the vehicle, tire, and roadway, would enable, among other aspects, the future pioneering condition predictions of single components (ranging from manufacturing, service to failure state), targeted traffic control, optimal synthesis of building materials and structures, interfaces to automated driving, as well as reduction in emissions. The digital twin of the road system contains and combines all available and relevant information about the “road of the future” system from physical examinations and modeling as well as from data-driven models and further available data (e.g., real-time sensor data from the vehicle, tire and road sensors, data models, etc.). This contribution presents the current state of research, tasks, and challenges toward achieving the digital twin of the road system as well as the potential of the digital twin for future mobility.

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