Wet roads can have a serious impact on tire traction. There are several ways of detecting wet roads; however, almost all of them come with disadvantages. Using the splash and spray behavior of the tire can offer a solution.
To identify key parameters that influence splash and spray, we used high-speed cameras to record tires rolling on an internal drum tire test bench. The key parameters were water film thickness, speed, and profile geometry (tread pattern and tread depth). Our image-processing analysis showed three main effects in the splash and spray behavior that help to characterize the water film thickness: side splash, circumferential spray, and torrent spray. Circumferential spray and torrent spray can be used to estimate low and medium water film thicknesses, but these require information about speed and profile geometry. Side splash announces hydroplaning without the need for additional information.