Project description


SR-90 is a system to install on the pavement of road traffic routes, with dynamic elevation and LED lighting controlled as a function of speed. Consisting of speed sensor, controller and road studs, with the functionality of controlling the speed of vehicles in critical areas.

The system has several road studs so the driver can sense their presence???? on the way, and do not try to pass by - as is the case with speed bumps (often making them inefficient). Its elevation is made in function of the speed, becoming imperceptible below the speed limit and aggressive above the speed limit. This control is the result of an intelligent algorithm - function of the speed of the vehicles approaching the control zone.

The controller has the function of receiving the information of the speed of the detectors and transmitting the orders with respect to the height and the color that they should have when the vehicle is passing.

SR-90 - the winner of the Safety Category of the Intertraffic Amsterdam Innovation Award 2018 - has two types of warnings for the driver: to raise their height above the ground and to light up according to the speed of the approaching vehicles.

It has several levels of warning:

- Proper speed: the road stud is at ground level and has a green light;

- Excessive speed (inadequate by excess): the road stud is slightly above ground level and has a yellow light;

- Inadequate speed (exceeding legal limits): the road stud is on its higher level above ground and has a red light.

The focus of this research was the process that allowed the elevation of the road stud, maintaining all the mechanical characteristics inherent to its proper functioning.

This system will be installed in places where it is crucial that cars slow down when they pass. Close to schools and in areas with a high average of accidents caused by excessive speeds.

The technique inherent in the project is unique in the world. In fact, there is no speed-controlled dynamic system associated with road studs. The great challenge was in the design of the mechanical system of elevation of the main body of the road stud, for the purpose of a system that resists the high impact caused by the vehicles and that can operate to voltages and currents from solar electric power stations.



Inadequate speed (driving too fast for the conditions of the moment, which involves the driver, vehicle, road, and transit) and Excessive Speed (higher than the speed limit) are almost universally recognized as factors contributing to both the number and severity of road collisions. Numerous surveys have clearly identified excessive/inadequate speed as one of the most serious road problems.

In the context of the Fourth World Week of Road Safety, the World Health Organization published the report "Managing Speed". The document highlights that excessive and inadequate speed is one of the main risks of road deaths and injuries.

There were 1.2 million road deaths in 2016. The study shows that speeding has contributed to one in every three road traffic crashes in the world. Between 40% and 50% of drivers exceed speed limits and young men under the influence of alcohol are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents caused by high speed. Traffic accidents continue to be the leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29.

Drivers do not understand the risks involved, and often the perceived advantages of accelerating outweigh the problems that can result.

The higher the speed, the greater the distance required to stop a vehicle and therefore the greater the risk of a collision. This is because, as speed increases, so does the distance traveled during the driver's reaction time and the distance required to stop. In addition, at high speed, the effects of driver errors are amplified. In a collision, the higher the velocity, the greater is the amount of mechanical (kinetic) energy that must be absorbed by the impact. Hence, there is a greater likelihood of serious injury.

The reconstruction of accidents allows us to determine the speed of the vehicles involved in accidents, allowing us to know that when speed doubles, braking distances quadruple, quadruple impact violence, and the likelihood of serious or fatal accidents increases between 8 and 16 times .

According to a study conducted by the University of Adelaide, for every 5 km/h speed increase doubles the risk of accident. The risk of accident when driving at 80 km/h in urban roads, and equivalent to driving with 2.1 g/1 of alcohol in the blood. Every 5 km/h above the limit correspond in terms of accident risk to 0.5 g/1 BAC.

If a driver at 120 km/h senses an obstacle, reacts and brakes staying near the obstacle, it will collide with the obstacle at a speed between 70 and 80 km/h which could have fatal consequences.

The report released by the WHO shows that a 5% decrease in average speed could result in a 30% reduction in fatal road accidents. It further states that an adult pedestrian is less than 20% likely to die if hit by a vehicle traveling at less than 50 km/h. If the speed is 80 km/h, the risk rises to almost 60%.

The tunnel effect demonstrates that when speed increases the field of vision decreases, presenting serious risks in particular in urban or national road, where the driver is no longer able to see other vehicles or people approaching. For example, typically the viewing angle goes from 100 degrees at 40 km/h to 30 degrees at 130 km/h.

Road accidents cause considerable personal losses to the victims and their families and economic losses for the nations as a whole. These expenses arise from the cost of treatment (including rehabilitation and investigation of incidents) as well as the reduction/loss of productivity for those who died or became disabled due to their injuries, and for family members who need to move away from work to care for the wounded. An estimated 2000 suggests that the economic cost of road accidents was approximately $ 518 billion.

According to the UN, estimates indicate that losses related to these fatalities cost countries between 3% and 5% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Therefore, the idea of WHO is to create measures to help prevent deaths and injuries caused by accidents related to excessive or inappropriate speed, to make populations healthier and cities more sustainable.



The SR-90's primary goal is to reduce speeding and inadequate speeds in urban/country roads.

Among the speed management measures suggested by WHO is the construction or modification of routes to include traffic moderating features, such as roundabouts and speed obstacles - such as the SR-90 road stud - and to function of each road, street or road.

The use of the SR-90 will dramatically decrease road accident rates and, as a result, seriously injured casualties will decrease as well as the resulting economic costs.

It is imperative to educate drivers (the young and the more experienced) about the dangers of excessive or inadequate speed on different routes.

This project intends to contribute with another sustainable solution to solve the problems of trampling and speeding. The objective is to develop a system that will be installed on road pavements, with dynamic elevation and LED lighting controlled by speed, consisting of speed detector, controller, and road studs, with the function of controlling the speed of vehicles in critical areas, concomitantly reducing trampling in the most sensitive areas.

This solution is in line with the European Cars 2020 program under Horizon 2020, where one of the pillars is the investment in R&TD in improving road safety, in this case by crossing the mobility industries with electronics and ICT, promoting infrastructure-vehicle protection (I2V). This is also an area of collective expertise identified by the regional strategy of smart specialization.



Speed levels can be affected by the development of secure infrastructures, such as modifying the road environment to reduce vehicle speed and traffic flow, thus providing protection against accidents and reducing injury rates.

The so-called traffic-calming measures have been widely used to reduce the frequency of accidents in many developed countries. These include the installation of physical speed reduction measures such as roundabouts, vertical changes on the road (eg s), horizontal changes on the road (such as speed bumps).

The introduction of speed bumps on Portuguese roads, whatever their type, offers very specific problems, which are not usually analyzed.

This subject was studied by João Alves and then proceeded to the presentation of his conclusions published in the article "Road Code: Artificial speed bumps on asphalt – questions”.

In Portugal, as in many countries of the world, exclusive residential areas are rare, commerce, industry and services coexist in the same spaces, most of the pavements in the localities are very deteriorated and sections with hundreds of meters have been there very equipped with other devices (traffic lights, air tickets, color bands etc).

However, in this case, it is necessary to articulate measures of traffic calming with its application with existing urbanism, public transportation policy, urban mobility and the planning and preservation of the environment. Paying attention to the negative impacts, we can easily conclude that it is urgent to find an alternative for the speed bumps.

Analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of road bump installation.


- Reduced cost compared to other means of traffic calming, such as radars, traffic lights and modification of track layout.

- Permanent nature of protection, as opposed to radars or policing.

- Reduced speed of approaching vehicles.


- Increase in noise (noise pollution - It is a well-known fact that a vehicle running at a steady speed, on smooth ground, produces less noise than a vehicle that is forced to brake, slow down, hit the wheels on the ridge and accelerate again).

- The danger of aquaplaning (the formation of water sheets and the difficulty in their disposal in places where they are implanted is frequent).

- Increased air pollution and fuel consumption (maintaining a constant speed is the key to achieving low fuel consumption and low emissions of pollutants).

- Production of impacts, vibrations in the ground and damages in buildings (the rides are generally narrow which implies that the speed bumps are next to the buildings, which end up causing microearthquakes in the buildings).

- Damage to vehicles (in general the reference to damages resulting from continuous lumbar spillage refers to premature tire wear, suspension, engine supports and brakes, loss of tire calibration and steering alignment, possible structural damage in certain heavy-duty vehicles, possible airbag shooting if the impact on the rudder is violent, traffic diversion)

- Reduction of vehicles that circulate in this street and its displacement to adjacent streets where there are no speed bumps.

- Delays and damage to emergency vehicles (ambulances, fire brigades) and danger to accident victims and patients (this is one of the main reasons for excluding their application in the access routes to hospitals and health centers. , usually heavy vehicles with an auto tank, due to the weight and the equipment they carry, the driver practically has to stop to cross the speed bump, under penalty of damaging the equipment due to the clash and "jump" of the rear wheels (the so-called bottoming effect out ").


Other questions

When placed in series they are dangerous for two-wheeled vehicles given the possibility of causing misunderstandings. In fact, in some cases, like a ridge does not seem to work, two or three feet apart, or instead of placing a 3 cm, it is replaced by a 7 cm.

- Loss of traffic flow

- The existence of 'copy' products on the market, that is to say, in view of the success of the product developed by a multinational, followed imitations of the original, sold at half the price.



A system includes:


Software that is uniquely an exclusive item, for its unique and innovative features, that can only run hanging the architecture of purposefully developed hardware. It deals with the numerous topics that guarantee the functionality and stability of every application, such as image processing, in adverse light scenarios, sending a short video and also organize a record of data, errors, faults, and exceptions that will be available to registered users. The Root Software is based on video recognition algorithms, based on neural networks and heuristic solutions, with learning capability using the local database in the hardware environment itself. At the level of the microcontroller software, we had the following implicit challenges: a rapid processing of the information sent by the sensors (microwave or image radar) and subsequent action on the road studs. It is therefore very important to optimize the generated source code to avoid possible bugs, locks on the processor.



Specific hardware that forced pure research since the intended concept is non-existent in the market. All development efforts were channeled towards the design of a product, with 100% effectiveness, quick decision and easy implementation. The solution encompasses a variety of technologies, from video cameras to state-of-the-art digital signal processing microcontrollers (very low-power electronic circuits).


Mechanical component

Mechanical component focused on the durability of the parts and the entire construction of the lifting system. The great challenge of the lifting system was not to put any pneumatic power system.

The sensitive aspects of technology and the most significant developments are at the level of:

- the design of a lifting system;

- the acquisition of the image and the questions related to the capture and production of the same by several sensors;

- development of the algorithm for information processing and speed measurement;

- the programming of the control system.



The project team is versatile and very experienced in identical processes, with a rich past in R&D projects, having gained an important experience and a clear perception of the difficulties and conditions necessary for the success of this type of project.

The internal team consists of 4 members, all of whom are licensed, of whom one has a doctorate in computer vision. The team consists of:

- A graduate engineer in electrotechnology, with several specializations in microcontrollers and renewable energy;

- Doctorate in computer vision and masters (post-Bologna) in electronics, specialist in computer vision, databases and layout PCB

- Master (post-Bologna) engineer in electronics, a specialist in hardware design, printed circuit design, prototyping, microcontroller programs;

- A graduate engineer in electrotechnology, a specialist in advanced computer techniques. computer graphics, data communication, digital signal processing.

The external team of the Higher Institute of Engineering of Porto is composed of 3 members, all of them graduated in mechanics.

- Ph.D. professor and specialist in Production Technologies graduated in Mechanical Engineering. Specialist in mechatronics, fast prototyping, and foundry technologies

- Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, a specialist in mechatronics, mechanical design and biomechanics;

- Technical assistant master in mechanical engineering.



As the device to be developed is innovative, represents a considerable scientific advance and has industrial application (the invention is subject to consumption and production in series), SERNIS will choose to require the protection of the utility model in the strategic countries, taking into account the effectiveness of protection, geographic boundary and associated costs. The aim is to protect the set of intellectual property rights aimed at suppressing unfair competition.

The aim is to register the patent in Portugal, and later to expand to the European Union, the United States of America and Brazil (through the national routes of the latter two countries).

As SERNIS operates in the national and international market, the need for patent registration has been for the most part internalized as a priority factor by the company's management. It is not enough simply to create is also necessary time and protection, factors implicit in a patent, so that the commercial actions can have the desired effects.

The international registration of this patent integrates the innovation strategy that is the main engine of wealth creation by SERNIS.

The technique will serve many other applications, particularly at road studs installed in countries with more severe winters where snowplows are a problem because of their elevation. In these cases, orders may be given to lower the road stud when passing snow plow machines.

Systems for video surveillance, with cameras integrated into the road studs, can be set up and only raised if necessary.

The fact that the lift can be controlled, in particular by the speed of the vehicles, represents a very great potential in the control of traffic with direct applications at the level of the ITS and consequently of the smart cities. Road stud can be activated (elevated) only at some critical traffic control time. Your control may be associated with traffic flow.

Combining the height of the marker with the dynamic lighting system will undoubtedly add value to the effective resolution of black spots on roads around the world.



SR-90 - the Intelligent System for Reducing Physical Speed - developed by SERNIS has been awarded nationally and internationally for its innovative value.



Winner of the Safety Category of the prestigious Intertraffic Amsterdam Innovation Award 2018

SERNIS was the first Portuguese company to win the most prestigious award in the world of Road Safety.

SERNIS Soluções Tecnológicas received 2 nominations from among the 15 finalists - for its SR-90 (Security category) and IMAPARK (Parking category) solutions, from which it won the Security Category.

The Jury of the Intertraffic Amsterdam Innovation Award 2018 included Dr. Peter van der Knaap (President of the Jury), Executive Director - SWOV and the Traffic Safety Research Institute (NL), Jorrit Weerman, CEO - Parking Network (NL) and Dr. Ir. BJCM (Ben) Rutten, Program Manager - Intelligent Mobility Strategic Area Eindhoven University of Technology (NL).

At the awards ceremony, jury president Peter van der Knaap said, "This is a truly innovative concept for reducing the physical speed of motor vehicles in controlled speed zones," adding that "The jury was impressed by the design and the relatively affordable price of the system and the claim that the surface is not too slippery for motorcycles or vehicles that are crashing. This aspect, coupled with the obvious need to prevent drivers from straying from the road studs, making "trailing" impossible requires good consideration of the sites for initial use. "



Winner of the Gold Medal at the Innovation Awards of the 44th International Invention Exhibition - Geneva, Switzerland

SERNIS was the only national representative at the fair and presented 3 applications of global application inserted in a spirit of social responsibility and in its main area of intervention, Road Safety.

The SR-90 was awarded the Gold Medal for its high degree of innovation, totally different from the existing solutions and involving different domains of knowledge: mechanics; lifting systems without associated energy flow; computer vision; production of specific algorithms. This makes the software an exclusive item, for its unique and innovative features; purposefully developed hardware architecture; image processing; learning using the local database in the hardware environment; sustainable solutions, etc.


Winner of the Grand Prix of the German Inventors Association

The Grand Prix of the German Inventors Association is the most prestigious (and desired) prize for inventions and patents.

The German Inventors Association decided to award the grand prize to SERNIS, considering that the SR-90 represents a considerable scientific advance and has industrial application (the invention is subject to consumption and mass production).

The fact that the lift can be controlled, in particular by the speed of the vehicles, represents a great potential in the control of traffic with direct applications at the level of the ITS and consequently of the Smart Cities. Road stud can be activated (elevated), for example, only at a critical traffic control time. Your control may be associated with traffic flow.

Combining the height of the marker with the dynamic lighting system will undoubtedly add value to the effective resolution of black spots on roads around the world.

The transversality to several domains of knowledge, which resulted in a non-existent technology, with the possibility of forming a new range of products within the same knowledge. As well as the fact that SR-90 is a product of global application inserted in a spirit of social responsibility, they have led to the awarding of several global and national awards in the area of Social Responsibility and Innovation:


Special Innovation Award by ERINET (Germany)

Award of the Prize for the high level of scientific and technological inventions presented at the 44th Geneva International Invention Exhibition (including SR-90) by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation


Award of the Special Prize for Social Innovation by UNION of Inventors (Morocco)

Attribution of the Special Prize for contribution to innovation in the area of Social Responsibility by APICIS - Association of Inventors and Inventors of the Portuguese Inventor


The SR-90 is also currently in the position of candidate for the Innovation Award Road Safety of the ACP (Automobile Club of Portugal).