Are there any small machines that basically work like thermoreceptors?
No, 4wd is not a tracton device. Traction deveices are things that attach to your tires, like chains, cables or studded tires. Many western states require them when roads are icy. Either get some and learn how to use them or don't drive when they are required. Be safe.
I think he is a human who had a lapse of judgment, but realized his mistake.