3B.2 Translating Connected Vehicle Observations into Practical Road Weather Applications

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 8:45 AM
Room 11AB (Austin Convention Center)
Michael Chapman, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and S. D. Drobot, P. Pisano, G. Guevara, G. Weiner, A. Anderson, B. Lambi, C. Burghardt, and J. Prestopnik

In the United States, motor vehicle fatalities during adverse weather conditions average above 7,000 annually. In an effort to provide better road specific weather diagnostics and forecasts, the US Department of Transportation, specifically the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Research and Innovation Technology Administration (RITA), has invested in applied research including the development of the Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) and weather-specific connected vehicle projects. In the very near future millions of vehicles (both public and private) in the United States will be connected and the logistical, mechanical, and environmental data from these vehicles will be communicated (vehicle-to-vehicle and/or vehicle-to-infrastructure), collected, and stored in order to provide information of weather impacts to the surface transportation community.

Since 2009, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research's (UCAR) National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has worked with FHWA and RITA to develop the Vehicle Data Translator (VDT) software which ingests, parses, processes, and quality checks mobile data observations (e.g., native and/or external) along with additional ancillary weather data (e.g., radar, satellite, fixed observations, and model data). The first two versions of this software were developed with data collected from vehicles in the Developmental Testbed Environment (DTE) during the winter and spring seasons of 2009 and 2010. The third version (VDT 3.0) is currently under development and will rely on vehicle observations from several USDOT funded projects (including the Integrated Mobile Data Collection and Application Demonstration Project) in addition to the data previously collected from the DTE experiments. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the VDT software, results from several of the past connected vehicle studies, and a description of several operational scenarios (with respect to road weather applications and the VDT) for some highly impacted users of the roadways in the United States. These groups include state maintenance agencies, private freight companies, the everyday driver of passenger vehicles, and the Emergency Medical Services community.

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