Research Alert

In order to correctly separate vehicles into classes, for instance for mobility pricing, one must be able to clearly distinguish mid-sized cars from upper class cars or small cars from compact cars. But this is becoming increasingly difficult: On photos, an Audi A4 looks almost the same as an Audi A6, a Mini One looks similar to a Mini Countryman. To date, there is no independent procedure for doing this.

Thus far, the classes in each country have been determined by experts – to a large extend at their own discretion. Empa researcher Naghmeh Niroomand has now developed a system that can classify cars worldwide based on their dimensions. Purely mathematical and fair. Thanks to it, the current classification by experts could soon be a thing of the past. At the same time, car classes could be compared worldwide in an easier and more objective way. After all, a "mid-size car" is something different in Italy than it is in the US.

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IEEE Access (2021), DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3094366