2B.4 Utilizing Integrated Mobile Observations (IMO) to Fill in Information between Fixed Road Weather Sensors

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 9:15 AM
611 (Washington State Convention Center )
Jeremy Paul Duensing, Schneider Electric, Minneapolis, MN; and A. Aguilar

Weather is a major factor in surface transportation – it impacts traffic flow and patterns, and is often a precursor to accidents, a significant portion of which cause injury or death.  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.

State, provincial and local agencies are meeting these challenges head on in new and unique ways by utilizing customized weather observations and forecasts to minimize the impact of snow and ice on the road network.  For example, Alberta Transportation has installed over 100 road weather stations throughout the province to collect accurate, timely weather data to provide intelligence on road weather conditions, making this network one of the largest in North America.  This data is collected, displayed and used within road weather forecast models to understand future road weather conditions so that the most economical and environmentally sensitive decisions are made to ensure traveler safety and mobility.

Emerging mobile observation technology now enables similar sensors to be installed directly on Alberta Transportation vehicles which take weather readings 100 times per second.  Alberta Transportation utilized these mobile weather sensors on provincial vehicles during the 2015-2016 winter season.  Covered in this presentation will be a comparison of the mobile sensors with Alberta Transportation’s existing sensor network, an analysis and review of Alberta Transportation’s use of this mobile technology during the 2015-2016 winter season, experience gained and lessons learned for other transportation agencies as well as an outlook of the potential future uses of the mobile weather sensor data.

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