12B.5 Filling in the Transportation Observation and Forecast Gaps in both Space and Time

Thursday, 14 January 2016: 2:30 PM
Room 355 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Jeremy Paul Duensing, Schneider Electric, Minneapolis, MN

Few sectors of the population and the economy feel weather's impact more directly than the flow of people and goods through the surface transportation network. Every year, around 20% of all crashes, injuries and fatalities on the roadway are weather related and over 30 billion vehicle hours are lost due to weather-related congestion at a cost of $2-$3 billion dollars to trucking companies.

There are also few areas outside of surface transportation where weather observations and forecasts have been customized to meet these challenges head on. Special sensors are installed in the pavement itself to measure the temperature and condition of the roadway. These observations are used to alert the traveler through roadway messaging signs and even through traveler web sites and smart phone applications. Weather forecasts have also been customized to go beyond the standard parameters of air temperature, precipitation type and wind speed to also include specialized forecasts of pavement temperature, pavement condition and even chemical treatment recommendations to keep the roadway free from snow and ice.

Even with this level of focus and customization, public agencies, businesses and the traveling public still typically rely on point-based observations and forecasts at a snap shot in time. The weather at their departure point is analyzed separately from the weather at their arrival point, with possibly a quick analysis at a point or two along their route. This weather information is manually analyzed for each point and for the path expected through time and is typically not monitored once the route is started. With the safety consequences and economic impact due to weather as well as the continued research into the connected and autonomous vehicle, this type of approach will not suffice.

But advances in modelling and alerting technology allow more comprehensive insight of weather's impact along a route. Covered in this presentation will be an overview of how transportation forecasts and observations have changed over time and how advances in alerting technology can be used to ingest a route, monitor that route against high-impact weather through both space and time thereby providing the traveler critical information with which to make decisions. Also included in the presentation will be the use cases of this alerting technology which range from driver navigation, shipping logistics to the autonomous vehicle, as well as covering the potential benefits to the traveler and the business.

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