This is the goal of the Automatic Cone Machine Safe Signalling System (ACM3s), a two-year Sacyr Maintenance project, funded by CDTI, consisting of the design of an autonomous system to place and remove traffic cones to direct traffic.
The ultimate goal is to develop a machine that does not exist yet, an equipment able to properly detect signalling, position and object movement throughout the entire operation, as well as safely placing and removing these traffic elements.
This equipment is fully autonomous and does not physically expose people to danger.
This solution consists of the technical evolution of road signalling trailers, so that a Maintenance vehicle towing a trailer that can be automatically detached at the start of the lane and keep enough distance to guarantee security in the event of a potential crash. The self-driving tow trailer follows the car (leader-follower technology) and places the traffic cones to channel traffic as per safety protocols, and is able to detect obstacles and function with absolute safety. The tow trailer signals to inform drivers as per Ministry instructions.
When traffic restrictions are over, the self-driving tow trailer attaches itself again to the car without any worker coming off the vehicle, safely completing the operation.
This tow trailer includes a robotic arm that places and collects the traffic cones via an AI-powered algorithm system, which facilitates coordinates for proper manipulation and placement.
These algorithms take the trailer's and the vehicle's position into account, as well as the traffic cones' in relation to its open environment.
In this project, Sacyr partners with GMV, the company responsible for the design of the prototype of the robotic arm and the navigation system of the trailer through MagicGNSS technology, which allows GPS positioning with centimeter-level accuracy.
This project will be developed with members of the Northern Delegation of Sacyr Maintenance, with a human team with great technical experience and innovative spirit.
Surely, this project will increase the level of safety on our roads and help detect the presence of vulnerable users, which is one of the great priorities at Sacyr.