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This paper studies 24-GHz automotive radar technology for detecting low-friction spots caused by water, ice, or snow on asphalt. The backscattering properties of asphalt in different conditions are studied in both laboratory and field experiments. In addition, the effect of water on the backscattering properties of asphalt is studied with a surface scattering model. The results suggest that low-friction spots could be detected with a radar by comparing backscattered signals at different polarizations. The requirements for the radar are considered, and a 24-GHz radar for road-condition recognition is found to be feasible.