Enhancing Road Weather Forecasts and Applications with Connected Vehicle Observations

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Monday, 3 February 2014: 2:15 PM
Room C105 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Michael Chapman, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and S. D. Drobot, A. Anderson, C. Burghardt, S. Linden, G. Weiner, and J. Prestopnik

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) initiated the development of the Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) in 2001. MDSS provides a single platform, which blends existing road and weather data sources with numerical weather and road condition models in order to provide information on the diagnostic and prognostic state of the atmosphere and roadway (with emphasis on the 1- to 72-hour time period) as well as a decision-support tool for roadway maintenance treatment options. In conjunction with the MDSS work, the FHWA has invested in research using connected vehicles (both public and private) to help with diagnosing the weather. Software has been developed called the Vehicle Data Translator (VDT), which ingests, quality checks, assigns observations to specific road segments, and infers road weather specific information such as slick roads, visibility, and precipitation. The objective of this presentation is to provide an overview of the capabilities of the MDSS system as well as the VDT software. Also to be discussed is the value of assimilating the connected vehicle information from the VDT into the road weather forecast in order to enhance the MDSS output to the end-user.