2A.1
Tomorrow's forecast: informed drivers

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Monday, 24 January 2011: 4:00 PM
Tomorrow's forecast: informed drivers
606 (Washington State Convention Center)
Sheldon D. Drobot, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and M. Chapman, A. R. S. Anderson, E. Schuler, G. Wiener, W. P. Mahoney III, and P. A. Pisano

The transportation community is well on its way toward the development of wireless vehicle capabilities (e.g., IntelliDrive[SM]) whereby vehicles communicate with other vehicles and the road infrastructure to improve safety and mobility and to reduce environmental impacts. In the near future, it will be possible for millions of vehicles to anonymously collect direct (e.g., temperature) and indirect (e.g., wiper status) measurements of the road and atmospheric conditions in their immediate surroundings. This will greatly expand the current weather observation network, particularly with respect to the roadway environment. However, the volume and anonymity of vehicle-based observations, and the fact that the observations are from a moving platform, pose several challenges related to data integrity. These must be addressed before the data will be broadly usable and acceptable. For example, weather observations collected from standard stationary platforms have a constant, known location. On the other hand, data from vehicles will not be at fixed locations and there will be no way of knowing from which vehicle an observation originates. With funding and support from the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) IntelliDrive[SM] initiative and direction from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Road Weather Management Program, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is conducting research to develop a Vehicle Data Translator (VDT) to address these vehicle-based data challenges. The main function of the VDT is to quality-check (QCh) individual vehicle probe data elements, such as temperature and pressure, and then combine them into “derived observations” that are valid along a given length of roadway over a given time. The objectives of this presentation are to provide an overview of the VDT and discuss how it can be used to provide warnings to drivers.