Utilizing road weather information system (RWIS) data to improve response to adverse conditions

Daniel T Blomquist
Jodi Carson

Adverse weather can significantly change the condition of the roadway within a short period of time, often with little or no warning to motorists or response personnel charged with protecting public safety. Traditional crash data is both aggregate and subjective in nature, limiting the ability to (1) accurately identify those weather conditions under which safety levels are minimized and (2) effectively guide crash-preventative response to adverse weather conditions (i.e., the dispatch of sand trucks or the dissemination of slippery condition warnings). The advent and expanded use of Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) - capable of providing detailed numeric data related to roadway surface, air and dew temperature and wind speed in addition to categorical information such as the presence of precipitation, road surface condition, and wind direction - shows potential for improving the identification of weather-related factors contributing to low levels of safety and for improving guidance provided to response personnel during or preceding times of adverse weather. While demonstrating potential, this investigation revealed several significant issues associated with the use of RWIS data for improving adverse weather-related crash prediction and response: (1) the categorical nature of some RWIS-reported data elements limits its usefulness in guiding response actions, (2) RWIS data is limited in historical timeline and ease of accessibility, and (3) RWIS data are highly localized spatially (i.e., reporting the pavement surface status only at the location of the in-road sensor) which results in substantial discrepancies between officer-reported and RWIS-reported crash data.



Vision Zero for Sustainable Road Safety in the Baltic Sea Region

The conference Vision Zero for Sustainable Road Safety in the Baltic Sea Region is held i Vilnius, Lithuania. VTI is part of the organisation committé and also one of the speakers.



ADAS&ME is tackling the interaction between people and technology

ADAS&ME is a major EU project focused on automation, the human condition and the human environment. The budget is EUR 9.6 million and VTI is the coordinator.


Users contribute to the development of train simulators

Apart from advanced driving simulators, VTI has developed several variations of train simulators which are used for training, education and research. In recent years, interest has increased drastically among major actors in the railway sector, and VTI has...


VR study to contribute to a better working environment for bus drivers

A study where bus drivers test autonomous driving in a VR environment may contribute to a better working environment with reduced stress on the driver and safer driving.


Non-native plant species spread via transport systems

Researchers at VTI have compiled a report on non-native invasive plant species in Sweden and how they spread via transport systems.


EU-project VIRTUAL: improving road safety with virtual crash tests

Crash tests are used to improve safety on roads. Therefore the EU now funds a research project to develop virtual methods of crash testing. VTI coordinates the project, called VIRTUAL. The project now invites experts interested in Human Body Modeling to join...


EU project protects cyclists and pedestrians

According to the World Health Organisation, more than one quarter of road traffic fatalities in 2010 were pedestrians and cyclists. Every year, about 335,000 unprotected road users die because of traffic accidents, which shows the scale of the problem. The EU...